Compelling traditional brokers to work with buyers with no cash is akin to asking them to shave their head with a cheese grater - they see no merit. Their sole objective is a cash commission, so interests are diametrically opposed if a buyer comes to the transaction cashless. With most US housing markets experiencing high demand/low inventory - why would a Realtor waste their time with a low probability buyer?My experience suggests that you work with a few agents savy in the investment side of the business. The PT "mommy agents" focusing on listing owner occupied homes will be a mutual waste of time. A competent investment oriented agent will keep your interests in mind, and will make you aware of possible opportunities.As Bob suggests, your best bet is to go direct. Not only does it eliminate 6% but most of the need for cash. Follow up on "For Rent" ads - they generally are only anticipating one months rent deposit and often would be interested in selling.Finally, don't be enamored with "nothing down" per se. It puts you in a very crowded field - i.e. everyone can afford to pay nothing. Become enamored with getting a FANTASTIC deal - sometimes this means paying little/nothing down, other times a great price, most often it means terrific terms.
One way I like to work with a broker is when buying bank-owned property. Many banks have brokers they deal with and list all their properties that way.I have an agent who will occasionally pull me all the bank-owned properties in the areas I am interested in. Even though I have to obtain traditional financing, it's worth it if the price is low enough.If you have enough cash (which I seldom do), you can make a low-ball, all cash offer, then immediately refinance with a no-seasoning loan. If the deal is good enough, you can just sell it to another investor for a quick profit.A good relationship with a broker is essential. The goos deals go quickly.
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