There are different versions of MLS listings. You will receive the client version of the MLS active properties if you do not specifiy that you want the agent version or you are dealing with a retail buyer agent. The agent version will give you a lot more details about the property. There are a lot of different things on this listing that could give you enough information to make offers without seeing the properties. You will make multiple offers this way with contigencies, so you can get the ball rolling.
On these listings, you will want to make sure you see the days on market (DOM) and the cummulative days on market (CDOM). You should have the real estate agent search for a certain number of days on the market or DOM. In most cases, the best and truest guage of time the property has been listed on the market are going to be the cummulative days on market or CDOM. You will want them to take the average days on market for that property in that area and tack on an additional 60 to 90 days on the market for the amount of days on the market that they search for on the MLS. These are the listings that have been on the market the longest and have motivated sellers tied to these properties. We will make low ball offers on these properties.
You will want to note the financing portion of the MLS sheet for the listing you are looking at to see what it has listed there. In many cases, it will state cash, conventional and fha. If it does not state FHA it coud be a realtor oversight or mistake. In most cases it is deliberate, they know there are items associated with the property that will not allow it to qualify for FHA financing. The bonus for real estate investors is that most of the owner occupant or retail buyers are not going to qualify to buy this property without FHA financing in this real estate market. We then han have less competition for these properties. Our offers for cash are more appealing to the bank due to the fact that they know they will either have to sit on this property longer for a buyer or spend the money to make the repairs so that it could qualify for FHA financing.
You will look for multiple price changes over the DOM and CDOM too. These properties indicate a motivated seller who will likely accept our wholesale offers. It will give us a feel for how much they have come down with each price reduction. If we can get the agent to pull the property history on the MLS, we will see how many times the property has been listed, when and for how much. It will show when an offer was pending and when it was cancelled and put back on the market. It gives you a good guage of how much activity has been going on with the property and for how long.
The agent remarks section can give you information about offers accepted (offer pending, back up offers okay, etc.), seller motivation(submit any and all offers, seller motivated, etc) , price reduction, property disclosures about condition (meth contamination, illegal addition, foundation issues, etc) ), seller information ( lender owned, short sale, 3rd party approval), property condition(TLC needed, AS-IS, no repairs, etc) , and more. It can help you gauge what is going on with the property quite a bit better.
You will find that you will consistently find distressed properties that will have motivated sellers tied to them, so you can submit your wholesale offers and have a greater chance of these offers being accepted.