Because I have been investing for quite a while many investors who are new to investing assume that I've been taught how to buy and sell real estate investment properties. Absolutely not true kingdom valley Islamabad. No one is less experienced as I was when I started out But I had a goal and I was willing to work hard to achieve it.

Let me share with you my very first deal:

Jim and I knew we had to make it clear to people we were looking to purchase houses if we ever in a position to locate deals to purchase. So, we began an incredibly inexpensive marketing to get the phone to ring. We walked around areas, handing out flyers, put magnetic signs on our car doors, put an ad in the local Nickel Paper (a three line ad was only $265 for a year). I had questionnaires printed and stacked by the phone so, if a seller was to call, I'd have a list of the right questions to ask.

Like most new investors, I was terrified. Because I didn't know how to proceed I didn't want sellers to give "yes" to my offers, so I always offered very low-priced bids. Investor ignorance is not always a bad thing.

Almost the very first call was a call from a woman out of state. In the past the phone we had was a caller ID and it said the call was via "US Gov't. Baltimore, MD". I was sure I was being arrested for something I had done illegally but I quickly rethought myself that I had not done anything wrong at that point, so I answered the call.

The woman's voice said "do you buy houses?" What? The government knew that I was buying houses? !

In the end, her son lived close to us and had removed our phone number from the magnets on my car's door when I was at the local supermarket. The condo she was selling was in our neighborhood, and she called all the way out of Baltimore, MD! This was so weird.

It was, however, vacant and had been on the market with an agent from a real estate agency for about a year. I asked for the property information and promised to contact her back. After conducting my due diligence, I called back and offered 65 cents on the dollar. She responded, "Honey, I've owned this condo for six years and I still owe more on it than that!" I assured her that I fully understood that I was not going to be her best offer but that I was an option. She was welcome to call me back anytime she had additional questions during her selling process.

I was so glad that she didn't accept my offer. Later that night, she rang back...

She asked, "if we did the deal, how it would take place?" I explained the deal to her and then told her we would close with our lawyer and she'd need to make a check for the difference between what I was offering and what she still owed. I thanked her and she hung up.

A few days later, she returned and accepted my offer.

I had never even seen the insides of the house and was terrified to death. The next day, I met her son who was at the house to look around. It was in perfect condition - all new carpets and paint, all the appliances including washer and dryer, the living room was two stories with a 2-story stone fireplace, and an upstairs office area with a view of the living area below. It was incredible. Because it was my first transaction and the vendor actually paid me to take it off her hands I took this as a signal that I was heading down the right investment road!

What are the morals in this tale?


  • Don't assume that you have to be an expert before beginning investing. You really learn what you'll need to know as you're investing.
  • Don't think for the seller. People believe that when a seller is in debt, much, they'll not take your low offer. This isn't the case! Many sellers pay to sell. If their need to sell is sufficiently compelling the seller writes a check at closing.
  • Don't let fear stop you. No one knows what they're doing in the beginning, at any job, but you should surround yourself with people who do know their stuff so that you'll always know where to turn for answers.
  • Always be an advocate for sellers. Most sellers need help. Offer it to them. You are forming relationships that will lead to excellent referrals. Do your best to help even if you're not the one they sell to.