Finding an investment property requires a lot of time and effort since ‘good deals’ are not easy to find, and once a ‘good deal’ is recognized it is usually snapped up straight away.

You can either spend the time and effort to look for deals personally, or of course ask an agent to look on your behalf.

If you really want to do the work personally, you can increase your odds by increasing the number of resources that you have. An investor that uses ten different resources is certainly more likely to find a bargain than someone using a single channel.

Here are ten methods you may employ:

  1. Talk.

  2. Let people know you are looking and sometimes the properties will come to you. There are a lot of owners out there who want to sell, but haven't yet listed their property.

  3. Use your network

  4. to find out if people know anyone who is selling that they could put you in touch with. Or even people who have found bargains themselves and could share ideas and tips with you.

  5. Use the internet.

  6. Go to a search engine and enter the type of real estate you are looking for, search agent’s sites for properties that may have been there a while.

    You may also note that some buildings have multiple properties being sold at the same time increasing the competition to sell and may temporarily bring the price down a little. You never know what you might find.

  7. Find abandoned properties.

  8. That's a pretty clear sign that the owner doesn't want to deal with the property. They might sell cheap. A trip to the Government records office and obtaining the Busca will give you the owner’s name and may help you to get in touch.

    If you do not want to do this yourself you could pay an estate agent a fee to do this for you and you can remain anonymous in the early stages.

  9. Find old "For Rent" ads.

  10. Call if they are a few weeks old. Landlords are often ready to sell, especially if they haven't yet rented the units out. Alternatively you can call the rental agent and ask them to approach the landlord.

  11. Talk to bankers.

  12. You might get a foreclosed-on investment property cheaper if you buy it before they list it with a real estate agent.

  13. Offer someone a finder's fee.

  14. There are people that always seem to hear about the good deals. Have such people coming to you.

  15. Eviction notices.

  16. If your local papers publish eviction notices, or if you can get the information at the courthouse, it can be useful.

    A landlord who just went through the process of evicting tenants is a likely seller. In Macau these notices are mainly in the Portuguese and Chinese papers.

  17. Old For Sale By Owner ads.

  18. If you call on two-month-old "For sale By Owner" ads, and they haven't sold, they may be ready to deal.

    Owners often give up the effort, but still would love to sell. Help them out you will need to be bold and happy to pick up the phone to talk to strangers!

  19. Put an ad in the paper.

  20. "Looking for investment properties to buy," might be sufficient to generate a few calls.

    So there are a few ideas you can put in to practice to find properties that may be a bargain. It will require time, effort, tenaciousness and courage – all the qualities you should find in a good agent.