I have three investment homes about to go on the market in Fort Myers now, if you are interested. All three have solid track records of income, and are well established rental investments. As to bank owned, lis pendens and short sale properties there may not be a listed price. What is owed on the property is only a guideline as the lender will likely try to achieve a price above the loan value, reflecting market value for the property.When buying an investment property look for a price that reflects the income, rather than only a price that seems to be a bargain. A low price to buy may not result in a good price versus income ratio! Look for a proven rental rate, or do the research to determine what the rental value would be. Be a little conservative so you are not disappointed. As return on money in CD, savings accounts, Treasury bills, etc is dismal, what is your expected rate of return for your investment in rental properties? Net income, after taxes and insurance and estimated repairs, is one way to look at returns, and gross income is another. If you invest $100,000 and get an annual income of $10,000, that is a ten percent return! Compared to many other investments that is a great rate! The other advantqge is that rents may also rise with year on year inflation, even a low inflation rate. Of course the opposite is also true, as investors taht bought in 2006 watched property values crumble in 2009, but rentals actually improved. In short, look at the price of a property in terms of the best estimate of return on your investment, the rental money received but also the anticipated value of the property over time, and the possible changes in rental rates. Laurel
All the responses are correct, but you might think of it as any other service or commodity. When you do your research you will find that the same object or service has a value or price that is fairly standard from one company to another. Banks pay similar interest rates on the same kinds of accounts. The same is true when buying a washing machine. The price is different, but not substantially different from one company to another, if you include all the details. House prices differ, but are within limits of the economy and the local market. A condo price in a building will differ, but be within a range that is the same as the others for sale. You might think of Realtor commissions the same way. There will be differences but the differences will mostly be minor, as they all reflect the marketing costs to sell a house, and the overheads to maintain an office and provide services. Somehow these costs need to be met.The other point is this:Selling a house involves actual costs to the Realtor you choose, plus time and expertise. If the house does not sell within the agreed time on the listing contract, then the Realtor incurs losses and the seller pays nothing.. There are other systems in place in the world where the seller pays all the marketing costs to the real estate company whether the house sells or not, and the commission rate is generally less. But we work within the existing system here, and this means the Realtor pays for the marketing. This also means the Realtor has a vested interest in selling your house successfully. They have invested their own money, time and expertise on your behalf!