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Two Teenagers Do Their First Deal!

by Justin Lee & Amanda Schaible, Rockford IL   

I remember the night I first found CRE Online. I stayed up until 5:00 am reading all the how-to articles, money-making ideas, and success stories. I was totally blown away with all of the free information available! I knew that one day I would be successful and submit a success story of my own! Well my dream finally came true...

My partner, Amanda, and I saved up for three months in order to attend the CRE Online Convention. After it was over, we knew without a doubt in our minds that we could do it! We were energized! We set a goal to have our first property under contract within three months.

Then we started driving neighborhoods almost every day in search of vacant houses. We wrote down the addresses, looked up the owners at the tax assessor's office, and sent out letters.

I rented a mailbox at Mail Boxes Etc. and bought a cellular phone to use as my "office phone". Hey--my cellular phone IS my office! It works out really well because I am hardly ever at home, so I rarely miss a call. And even if I do, my voice mail catches it.

We continued to drive neighborhoods and crank out letters for a couple months. We'd mail out 15-20 letters at a time and usually get one or two calls from each mailout. Most of these calls were no good, but we did end up making one offer that was rejected (seller was totally unrealistic). Finally one day, we hit the jackpot...

Just two days before our three-month goal was up, we got a call from a guy who had an abandoned house, a large four-bedroom single-family house needing about $10-15K in repairs. I knew that comps in the neighborhood for this house were about $50K.

I talked with the owner for a while, asking him about the house, etc. I finally asked him, "How much do you need for your house?" He said, "$16,500." YES! I knew that this would be a deal if we could get it for less than $20K. I met the owner at the house the next day and walked through it. Man, I was nervous!

The house was full of junk and the grass in the back yard was over five feet tall! After seeing the house, I offered him $16K. He accepted. I broke out the contract, went through it line by line with him, and he actually signed it!

The purchase price was $16,000 all cash to close within 30 days. I put up $100 earnest to be deposited within 14 days.The contract was contingent upon inspection, and I had 14 days to complete it. After getting the contract signed, I went straight to the title company and ordered title work and explained that I would be performing a simultaneous close. No problem.

I started an ad the next day and placed a FSBO sign in the yard. I received about ten calls per day from the ad and showed it to several people. After about two weeks, we found somebody who was interested in the property. He signed a contract, but backed out a few days later. After wasting our time with him, we had only a few days left until we were supposed to close.

I went to the seller, explained the situation to him, and offered him an extra $500 at the time of closing if he would extend the agreement 30 days. He agreed. We knew we really had to hustle to get this house sold, so we put another ad in the paper similar to our first one but added: "Must be able to close quickly." This produced a lot more calls from cash buyers than owner occupants.

I showed it to several investors, and received two offers, each for less than what I paid for it. One investor was very interested and called me a few days after I showed him the house. We met and talked for a while. He told me he could give me $15,000 and close in three weeks. I told him that my bottom dollar was $19,000, and I needed to close within 14 days.

He then told me that he spoke to Mr. Seller on the phone the day before, that he knew when my contract was up, and that he would go around me. I told him if he did that he would never have the privilege of doing business with me again!

He then proceeded to tell me that, "Quick cash deals are few and far between. Finding a cash buyer in less than two weeks would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack." I didn't get angry, just all the more determined to sell the house in time.

He offered me a "finders fee" of $500 if I would sell out to him, but I told him no way, I was going to market the house until the very last day. Persistence and tenacity pay off. Less than a week later, I got an all cash offer of $20,000 from a serious buyer, and he wanted to close in six days. Those six days seemed to drag on forever!

Finally the day came, we walked into the closing room, signed document after document, and walked out with a check for $3,493! I can't believe we actually did this!

I want to thank everybody here at Creative Real Estate Online. Reading about all of the successes here is what kept us going when things got tough. I also hope that our story will motivate someone to take action and to start making some offers! It was very uncomfortable at first, but every time you do it, it gets a lot easier and you gain confidence.

I thought nobody would take me seriously at my young age, but it's all about the way you carry yourself and how confident you are. You can gain confidence through education (this site). Also, if you haven't been to the CRE Online Convention yet, you need to go! After returning we knew without a doubt that we would be successful investing in real estate.

I also want to publicly thank Tim Jensen. He's a very cool guy and has helped us out a lot with our business. Even though in a way he has created some competition for himself (he lives in the same city as us), he has been very generous with all the help. (Besides, there are enough deals to be had here for ALL of us to make money!)

I met Tim as a result of posting a message on the "I have/I want" board at the CRE Online Convention. Now what would have been the cost of us NOT attending the Convention?

[Editor's Note: Justin is age 19 and Amanda is 18. If they can do it at such a young age, how about you?]

 
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