A successful flip is within your reach! Your first (or next) successful house flip starts here, with the following six steps.
I learned and refined my processes over my decade-plus in the house flipping business. I will share with you the first six steps you must take before getting into the nitty-gritty with your flip.
Once you get these six steps down, you’re on your way to a successful flip!
Always Be on the Lookout
Once you’re in the flipping business, it’s your job to look at houses whether you’re actively looking to purchase or not. The more homes you see, the better idea you get of the differences between them and where the potential lies.
Don’t stop at the house. Take a deep look at the neighborhoods, school districts, price range, styles of homes, and analyze what buyers are looking for. One of my ultimate time savers is to look at the aerial map view of a house. You will see what’s around through aerial view, as far as apartments, commercial buildings, parks, etc.
If you’re looking in areas where you may be finishing new spaces like attics and basements, make sure you (or your agent) know the required ceiling heights to finish those spaces for usable square footage!
Set Up Your Processes First
Like any business, getting clear on your processes helps you stay on track, plan, and effectively collaborate with others. For flip projects, it’s essential to know the order in that things need to be completed, starting at the beginning of the house hunt.
Many times, people look for houses first without having anything in place. You might find the home first, but you won’t be prepared to act quickly with the next steps—both from a competitive standpoint and appearing serious and professional to the seller.
Before hitting the open houses, make sure you have your approval letter ready to go. That will need to be submitted with your offer, so you’ll need that piece of the puzzle.
Use a Checklist
Successful flips come down to organization! Like I said, nailing down your processes is essential, but keeping track of it all is another thing.
You follow several steps that will make for a smoother process before, during, and after your project. This includes the initial walk-through, determining your offer, creating a scope of work, creating a calendar, and planning!
One of the first places flips can go awry is when delays occur. That’s why developing a calendar is critical. Efficient projects are those where everyone is on the same page with timelines.
Once you have your checklist and calendar down, run it by anyone else on the project. Ensure contractors and others involved agree that the timeline is realistic, and find out early if there are any concerns!
Determine Your Strategy For Finding a Flip
You need a strategy, and your flip business strategy can (and will) evolve. To start, there are several methods for finding houses to flip, and choosing one will help you narrow your focus. Ideally, find a way that works with whatever else you may have going on in your life.
I did some direct mail when I started but relied mainly on the MLS. There are many strategies to find below-market deals on homes to flip. You could work with a realtor to find on-market deals, work with wholesalers to find off-market deals, build a direct mail marketing campaign, and so on.
Finding good deals for flipping houses is a massive topic in itself. After getting a sense of these six steps, you can learn more about finding a house to flip here.
Part of finding a good deal as a home flipper is simply patience. Finding deals is a numbers game. If your strategy for finding deals revolves around direct mail, you may need to send 500 letters, tour 50 properties, and make offers on 20 of them before one is accepted at a price that makes sense for you.
Tempting as it may be to compromise, stand by your house flipping business plan. If the numbers don’t meet your price or project scope criteria, keep looking! I promise, there are always more houses.
Next, decide on the type of flip you’re most comfortable with. When I started, most of my projects were 8-10 weeks and very straightforward. Since I had zero experience, I installed new cabinets and flooring, added fresh paint, and kept the existing layout. I used these beginning flips to learn the process, hire (and fire) contractors, and learn how to advance design and renovation.
If you have a background in these areas, you may be more comfortable tackling more early on. I’ve also seen people who’ve been contractors and worked on projects for other investors. That level of experience can certainly allow you to take on more. Something to always consider is the time required for the project.
When you’re just getting started, taking on a home that needs an addition and a new garage built is going to add a lot of time and expense to your budget. There’s no need to take on a huge project if you can make a similar profit on one that needs less work!
Get Multiple Bids from Contractors
The success of your flip hinges on your profit. Contractors you use will have a significant impact on that, so it’s worth taking the extra time to vet and find the best contractor for your business.
So what exactly does it look like to get multiple bids? First, you’ll start sourcing referrals as soon as you can. Ask people if they recommend general contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc. Even if you don’t have a project on your radar, once you have one, things will move quickly.
Keep in mind contractors aren’t always available to meet on short notice for walk-throughs and bids. If you have a limited number of days, you may have to reach out to a few of them, which is easier with a substantial list of potential contractors.
Surround Yourself with the Right People
Finally, your successful flip business requires the right people around you – Virtually and IRL! Follow someone doing what you want to do and others in the realty industry.
I offer tons of resources for beginners and seasoned flippers! Check out Fixer Upper Checklist to help you find the perfect house and join the waitlist for my course to learn how to execute a profitable, successful flip!
Keep up with my projects, free tips, new offers, and more on Instagram!