When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them that I am a professional property locator who specializes in using real estate options to control undervalued properties with immediate resale profit potential. I then go on to give a brief explanation of how I go about finding new owners for all types of vacant properties that have outlived their original use but are structurally sound and still have a lot of years left in them before they are ready for the wrecking ball. And this is exactly where your focus should also be when using this strategy to control obsolescent properties. In fact, I have never exercised an option to buy any type of obsolescent property. My approach when using this strategy has always been to locate an obsolescent property, put it under a 6- to 12-month option, market it to a targeted group of prospective buyers, and resell the option. This way, I am able to profit from obsolescent-type properties without the cost, risk, and hassle that go along with actually putting a piece of property to another use. Some of you reading this may think that a professional property locator is nothing more than a glorified bird dog, who receives a finder's fee for locating properties for real estate investors. And you are correct, except for one major difference: An optionee has an exclusive and irrevocable right to purchase the property under option, while the average bird dog has very little or no legal protection to keep investors from bypassing him or her and striking a deal directly with the property owner.
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