“Everybody thinks they’re a flipper today,” says Phil Battista, a sales rep in Brampton, Ont., who works with investors. “It’s hard to find a detached home to renovate and fix. You have to do a lot of research and digging, but they’re out there.”
As demand far exceeds supply in many areas of the GTA – as well as other major Canadian cities – buyers who are dead set on a detached property are looking to more affordable fixer-uppers. As a result, the homes that a flipper would have scooped up at a discount are not only becoming more expensive, reducing the profit margins, but becoming fewer and farther between.
That leaves agents looking in unlikely places to appease these types of clients.
“They’re not necessarily on the market,” Battista says. “A lot of people are knocking on doors to find these homes. There are a lot of different avenues for investors that aren’t in the MLS.”
Battista points to the large population of baby boomers who are going to start offloading properties in the next several years. He also says finding these types of properties almost require an insider’s knowledge of the neighbourhood.
“It all has to do with where you’re looking,” he says. I’m very surprised – anywhere you look today is where you’re going to find an investment.”
At the very least, agents should revert to their beginner ways: exploiting every contact in their little black books.
“There’s a lot of leg work involved,” Battista says of starting out as an investor-focused agent. “You have to treat it like a business, spend your money and your time. It’s all about connections and treating your license as a business – a full-time business.”
Agents will need to do a lot more leg work to satisfy investor clients, as finding properties available for flipping is becoming more and more difficult.