For most people, the image of shabby properties and suit-wearing lawyers do not go together. Searching for flip projects involves keeping your eye out for run-down homes, searching the newspaper or Craigs List, and other cleverly humble beginnings. In reality, making friends with the right kind of lawyer could be the ideal way to find a steady supply of homes that are not only ready to be flipped, but the sellers are eager to get the property off their hands quickly.
In the flipping industry, your time is money. An eager seller means less time spent negotiating and, likely, a better deal on the home’s starting value. Of course, you’re not going to find ideal flipping opportunities from just any lawyer. Criminal defense, corporate law, and tax code lawyers, for instance, have nothing to do with residential properties.
What you’re really looking for are three types of lawyers that may or may not have overlapping practice areas: Probate lawyers who deal with estates of the recently deceased, divorce lawyers who split estates during the dissolution of marriages, and real estate lawyers who specialize in expediting property sales. With local lawyer friends in these three practice areas, you may never find yourself short of flipping opportunities again.
One of the best places to look for homes in desperate need of flipping is estate sales. Home flippers have long since discovered that homes on sale from an estate are great flipping opportunities, but why wait until the houses are already on the market? By making friends with a probate lawyer, you could be the first call made to help move a property quickly at a reasonable price. Here’s how it works:
When a home-owning adult dies, their home and other possessions are passed down to heirs and will beneficiaries. However, the home inheritor often has zero interest in cleaning, owning, and paying for a house they never intended to possess. Many people who inherit a house from a deceased relative are eager to get it off their hands without going through the expense and hassle of cleaning, repairing, staging, and market procedure.
That’s where you come in. If you know a probate lawyer who is responsible for handling the transfer of ownership, you can also be the first recommendation they make to inheritors on how to get rid of an unwanted house. Then you take on the cleaning, repairs, and staging that you do so well. And best of all? Most of these homes will still be perfectly livable without many (if any) serious repairs or updates needed.
Of course, while probate may be a great place for referral flips, no one wants to get a home off their hands faster than a couple divorcing and settling accounts. Divorce is tough for joint homeowners because either one person ‘gets’ the vast majority of the couple’s shared net wealth (and debt), or the house must be sold and the proceeds split evenly between the divorcing pair. And divorce lawyers are the ones caught in the middle, trying to help couples sell the house and settle the difference.
As a professional flipper, you are the ideal friend for these Divorce lawyers and their divorcees in getting a home sold quickly so the proceeds can be split. You want to be the name at least one local divorce lawyer suggests softly to their worried clients as a way to sell the house without the usual staging and marketing delays. By making friends with divorce lawyers, you can be their go-to solution for home sales and get a steady supply of houses to flip that is already in good condition.
Real Estate Lawyers
Finally, there is a type of lawyer that deals professionally in many types of real estate, particularly helping everyday home buyers and sellers exchange property ownership. Often, probate lawyers and sometimes divorce lawyers also specialize in real estate, but not always.
Real estate lawyers handle all kinds of property all day long and while not every case will be something you and they can help each other with, some will be. Most real estate lawyers would be glad to know a professional flipper because, occasionally, they are asked to handle some really unappealing properties. If you can turn those cases into ‘success’ sales for them, they would be glad to connect you with ideal flipping opportunities.
Learn More About Making Friends With Lawyers
Customers and agents may be the source of real estate activity, but lawyers are the glue that holds it all together. By making friends with the right kind of lawyers, you can become the go-to solution for all sorts of ugly-but-salvageable real estate opportunities. When a probate lawyer needs someone to take an inherited property off of a client's hands, you can be there.
When a divorce lawyer needs to sell a family home fast to finalize a separation, you can be there. And when a real estate lawyer needs to move a currently unlovable property at minimal expense, your flipping expertise is exactly what they need. A friendship with property-handling lawyers is the kind of connection that works well for everyone involved.
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