First deal! (bird dogging)

First deal! (bird dogging)

What an absolute THRILL to have wrote those two words! FIRST DEAL! LOL!! I feel all tingly! LOL!

Ok here is the deal. We have a couple of friends who are looking to buy their first home. They are both extremely busy with work, school, family, friends etc... The little bit of house shopping they have done already has them groaning and wondering how in the world are they to do this while juggling everything else on their plates.

The other night when they were telling me this I told them what I am doing and informed them that if I do this for them I would expect a finders fee and that it would be my FIRST time doing this but I would NOT let them down.

I have already found several homes I think they would just LOVE but I still need to talk to them later and get some more information.

I do have a few questions for all of you as well.

What is a reasonable amount to ask for a finders fee? These are very close friends who could probably be a big help down the road when it comes time for me to invest in other homes. I do not want to charge them too much but at the same time I am doing this as a favor and a means to make a bit of cash in our pockets. I want ALL my deals to be 100% HONEST and clean.

Do I include in my finders fee the miles I traveled in order to look at homes after finding them on line? Is that even something I should do? (Look at the homes personally before I suggest them to my friends?)

Any help on this or deals like this would be greatly appreciated.


You can't save the world but you can offer a hand up to a few along your way.

Great News!

This is great! Some other members will chime in and let you know what they think, but to get a better answer give us more info - like what the price range is and how much a FMV you are getting for them.

Be sure to post the details when it works out in a new thread in the "My Deals" forum to get your deal maker badge (this post has been moved since it is not a deal just quite yet) Smiling

Realtors' Fee


Let me simplify some of the details, if I could-

If your friends were to go to a realtor (which it sounds like they were not- they are doing their own house shopping), they would pay probably 5 or 6% of the cost of the home. They would pay for that in the cost of the home, not an additional cost. Realtors get paid to be real estate professionals, but maybe your friends don't know a realtor they can trust.

Figure on the type of house your friends are looking for (3BR? 4BR? one or two bathrooms? Large yard? in town?) If you can find them a good deal without a realtor involved, you may be saving them a lot of money. Figure that a seller's agent (realtor) may charge the seller 3% of the cost of a home, and a buyer's agent (realtor) may also charge the seller 3%. If the realtor represents both the buyer and seller, they may only charge 5% off the top off the cost of the home. These are all examples, but may give you a fair idea of where to start.

You might find them a better deal than a realtor could.

As an example, if they went to a realtor, maybe they could find a house for $100K. They would pay the $100K, and, let's say 6% of that cost ($6K) would go to the realtors. So essentially, they are buying a house worth $94K, and paying the realtors for their services.
If that same house were not on the market, the buyers (your friends) would be paying $94K to the seller, if your friends had time to find that house. If YOU found them that same house for YOU to buy at $94K, and sold it to them at $98K, you would be saving them money, and making some of your own money.

Be careful- out of that $4K difference in selling it to them could be many costs involved- such as attorneys, home inspection, title insurance, taxes, ETC. Check this website and talk to professionals about costs involved.

Hope this helps.


"Be very careful, then, how you live- not as unwise, but as wise, making the most out of every opportunity..." Apostle Paul writing to the church in Ephesus


Good for you, it takes a good friend to step up and help a friend. Now lets talk about business. I agree with you on not wanting to abuse the situation but business is business. Keeping in mind that they are good friends what about charging them about 2.5%. This is less than a Realtor would charge for the same service. This could also help with them being your bird dogs. A fair percentage of people will tell/talk positive about an experience they had but, greater are the masses that will tell about a bad experience. The DGAdmin is right also, more info would be needed to give you an exact answer. Good luck in your decision and I hop it's a win win for both of you.



good for you on wanting to help a friend

you stated that these same friends could be of help further down the road you will want to keep this fact in mind as well

If you are looking for a true win win you may want to charge just alittle just for your time with the idea of benefiting more down the road

Hope this helps

Later Fred E

Hi Siana

Welcome to the DG family and welcome to your new life. My first 2 deals in this crazy world were bird dogs for a member of my REI club which is meeting as we speak, but I'm here. I was new to this world and wanted to make a name for myself with my club so I offered to bird dog for this seasoned investor. I must have worked 2 to 3 days off and on and came up with 2 props for him to invest in. To make a somewhat long story short, I found him 2 houses to invest or rehab, and made $1000.00 to boot. My advice is, if you want to keep them as friends and possible help down the road, don't be greedy and make a few bucks and walk away. They will love you for it. Get all the info that they want in a house and turn yourself on the REI world to help them out. You never know when you will need them in the future. In other words, treat them as you would want to be treated and all the good things will follow. It works, believe me it does....Jan

Hi Siana

Great job on your first bird-dog deal Smiling It's all about taking action & your just a proof of that....sounds like your having allot of fun doing it, hopefully others will follow your example.

Everyone Can Make A Difference!
John A.

Have to agree with my

Have to agree with my partner Jan on this one. Don't ask for much, especially if you want to have them help you down the line. But post the price ranges and we can all suggest what to ask.



This train, Dreams will not be thwarted
This train, Faith will be rewarded
Big wheel roll through fields where sunlight streams
Meet me in the Land Of Hope And Dreams

Bruce Springsteen

More Info

Well first off thank you all for helping me on this!

I am trying to learn a lot here, Deans book I am told will be here today with the mail! So I might not be on as much due to reading. I read fast so I hope to have the book read the first time around in a few days. I ordered Profit From Real estate Now and a smaller book I can't recall the name to. Oh my I just cannot wait to read them!

Anyhow back to my friends....

Well as things go we had not seen these two friends for a a couple of months, you all know how things go, you get caught up in day to day living and suddenly you haven't been in touch for a couple of months... Anyhow long story short we were at a party together this past weekend. We were standing around chatting catching up on things when they mentioned they were ready to buy a house.

Then they said how with both of them working full time jobs and going back to school in order to further their education so that they may both move up the ladder within the company's they already work for and how house hunting is just another chore they have to get through. I said to myself, 'girl this is opportunity knocking and ya better answer!' Soooo I said, 'you know I am actually starting my own business in real estate maybe I could help you out?' Their eyes lit up like a Christmas tree! She pulled me aside and said, 'Tell me about it!' I told her about buying Deans book and researching on this site and the homes I have looked at already just to get a feel for whats out there bla bla bla...

Anyhow the conversation wasn't all that long and I know I need a whole ton of information from them in order to find them that house they will really LOVE. That is why I am creating a questionnaire that I think might turn into an application for future clients. We are planning on getting together this weekend to talk about this in more detail. I had told her at the end of our conversation that I needed to gather up more information for them, create some paper work for us all to fill out and sign and find out more information on what amount is acceptable to charge in doing something like this. She told me that she has full and complete trust in me and will pay me whatever I think is fare.

That said I haven't been twiddling my thumbs I have a few homes for them to look at online while they are here. I found those homes using what knowledge I already have of them knowing them like we do. In addition to a few key things she mentioned in our conversation.

They haven't gotten pre-approval from a bank yet but they don't foresee a problem because they both have excellent credit scores. They have money for a down payment but I do not know how much yet. She asked me what I thought the price range on a large home that would fit them, her mother and the babies they plan to have in about 3 years. I told her that quite honestly I have only been looking at 2 and 3 bedroom homes and those were largely pre-foreclosures, foreclosures, and HUD homes. However I did tell her the price range I have been finding them and that ranges from $8,000.00 to $100,000.00 with my interests laying more towards the cheaper homes. She said they would be more interested in things that STARTED around $50,000.00 to $80,000.00. I assume that means they are planning on spending about $125,000.00 to $150,000.00. Even so I started looking online right away at the lower end of her scope and I have found some places I think they will love, I know I sure love em! LOL!

The kind of home they are looking for would of course have a nice deep back yard, a place to park three to four vehicles. Anything that had a mother-in-law suite/apartment attached to it would be a huge selling point with them. In fact its something that is VERY important to them. They want 4 to 6 bedrooms for themselves as they plan to have a nice sized family and about the same amount of bathrooms.

They need room for her mom to have a nice kitchen garden and room for her to plant flower beds and whatnot. See I wouldn't be choosing a home just for themselves because they are both firm about her mother living with them comfortably for the duration of her life. Seeing as she is a really vibrant lady who we all love and adore that's gonna be a loooong time, well we all hope so anyhow her mom is just the most wonderful lady!

Then there is the fact that we both know them all pretty much as well as we know ourselves and when you put in that I am starting my own business well wouldn't you want someone like that to find your forever home?

I will say I do know they have the backing power when it comes to money to get what they want and they aren't the type to settle for less than exactly what they want. Right now all three of them live in a nice two bedroom condo in a bigger city than we live in but only about 25 minutes away from us. They don't want to live in my town, Salem, but they do want to be close by. He works in Niles and she in Boardman so wherever they live the commute couldn't be much more than it is already. I think her commute is under 15 minutes and his closer to an hour, give or take 15 minutes. So that would be a factor as well. We think they would love a country setting however they have lived in the city for so long that I highly doubt they would want to be too far away from all the shopping and things.

Well that's the skinny folks! You now know pretty much all I know on this. After this weekend I will know more.

Thanks again for the offers to help! I can't wait to see what you all have to say!


You can't save the world but you can offer a hand up to a few along your way.


Sorry! I double posed that! I tried to delete the second on but couldn't? Ahhh well sorry!


You can't save the world but you can offer a hand up to a few along your way.

Bird Dog In Da House!

Great job! Keep going and dont stop! They are good friends, so whatever you short change yourself moneywise on this deal, consider it an investment in your future. Those guys will work as your adverstising to others! By word of mouth. Even if they mention you to people at the places of employment. They could pass out flyers there as well as business cards for you. You're on your way. Use them (in a good way) as a referral. It will more than make up for what you DONT charge them this time. Get some money for your services but dont kill them.

Never take advantage is my moto!

House1 wrote:
You're on your way. Use them (in a good way) as a referral. It will more than make up for what you DONT charge them this time. Get some money for your services but dont kill them.

Exactly my point! See this business I am starting isn't going to be about getting rich quick. My goal with this is I want to help people starting with our family and friends. I have already spoken with my daughter and mom about helping me get a REO clean up biz going and I plan to turn it over to my daughter completely when the time comes.

A little secret of mine is that once I am established and no longer bird dogging but rather flipping houses and doing rent to own leases I want to spread out more by getting involved with our local community action place. They have a first time home buyer program in place already however you have to have a down payment and pre-approval from the bank and all that.

I want to help people who are where I have been like the battered woman's shelter in our county. I want to get myself in a position where I can offer good clean and affordable housing to people who can't get a conventional loan to buy a home but who are driven and would work hard if someone were to extend a helping hand and get them in that house first. I want to inspire hope and give people who have hit bottom something to work for while having a nice safe place to live in. I know how I longed for that help when I was in their shoes and I can't see myself getting rich and not helping out others. I just can't do it ya know?

OK any how sorry got side tracked.... Back to this first deal!


You can't save the world but you can offer a hand up to a few along your way.


here is the questionnaire I have been working on for my friends with the thought that we will be able to utilize it for future clients. Any ideas you guys have about it would be welcome. Also if you like it feel free to copy and paste it and use it however you wish!


1)What is the amount for which you have been pre-approved for by a bank or loan company? Please include what bank or mortgage company are you planning to use.

2)What amount do you have for a down payment?

3)Would you need help in finding a bank or mortgage broker?
Circle One.


4)List three area's in which you are wanting to live.

5)What type of property are you wanting? Please describe with as much detail as you can. EXAMPLE: 1 to 3 acres rolling hills with trees and/or fencing that encloses the back yard. Write it on a second piece of paper if you must and note it here.

6)How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Are half baths something you are looking for in addition to full baths? Will the absence of a half bath make you decide for or against a home?

7)What other things must your home have? IE: Fireplace, swimming pool, deck, guest suite/mother-in-law suite or apartment etc.

8)What kind of out buildings would you be looking for? IE: garage, pool house, guest house, barn etc.

9) What are your feelings on a 'Handy man special' type home. Meaning a house you would have to work on in order to get it the way you want it, and/or have a complete reconstruction.

10)How long do you plan to live in your home? Three years, five, ten or forever!

11)What kind of commute to work, shopping would you expect to make? IE: 10 minutes, 30 minutes an hour?


You can't save the world but you can offer a hand up to a few along your way.

Siana Think about this......

Great job Siana, sounds like you’re on the right track. But think about the steps that you want to take to really help your friends. One of the first things that you need is to put your team of professionals together. Have you found a good friendly mortgage broker yet? If not your going to need one as you build this business.

Start to look for one and then suggest to your friends that they need to get pre-qualified that way they and you know how much home they can afford. This way you will be focused on finding them exactly what they can afford as well as what they want and this will also help them keep with in their means. If they are smart they’ll love you for this.

Finding a good mortgage broker can be a source of income for you because some brokers pay a nice finders fee for bringing them good qualified people and it sounds like your friends fit that bill.

Once armed with that information then you can put all these other possible homes into that information and then you’ll be able to see exactly which of these would be the best for them. This will actually provide more value for your friends and you might be able to get away with a bit more cash in your pocket because you have gone that extra mile for them.

What we provide is value the more you can assist a friend or a potential client to help him/her to get on the right track when it come to purchase a home the more value you offer. THAT IS WORTH Its WEIGHT IN GOLD!

After you have been able to find a property for them that is within their means, it’s where both can be close to work it’s near good schools etc etc. they will not begrudge you any fair gain because you have saved them a TON of work, time and expense. The value of your help is priceless and they will gladly help you now and in the future because you will come across as a real professional and someone who really wants to help people.

So go for it, be the friend you want to be put be the professional you need to be.


"It's not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life,
it is how you handle what happens to you.
Zig Zigler


Ohhh man! I am seeing how uneducated I really am! Deans book came in the mail yesterday!!!!!!! I am reading Profit From Real Estate Right Now! I started reading yesterday at 5pm, I read until 1am woke up this morning at 7am grabbed my coffee curled back up in bed with my highlighter and pen and I didn't stop reading until noon. Shoot I wouldn't have stopped then but we are having some out of town company coming and the house wasn't gonna tidy its self up all alone now was it? Anyhow I am on page 199 about to read about Matt's Coaching Story.

I gotta tell ya'll the very best part of reading Dean's book is I GET IT!!!! OMG! It's just sooooooo easy to read! Every way I thought I was going to have to go about this I am tossing right out the window!

I'm still going to help my friends find their home but I with Dean's book and strategies I am going to revamp the way I was thinking, sit down and work out another system, that is AFTER I call and see about coaching.


You can't save the world but you can offer a hand up to a few along your way.


Congratulations Siana on taking action and putting yourself out there. I thought your questionnaire is very good personnally. As to the bird-dog thing-i'm getting started in that as well as just lost my regular "day-job". I met with a Seasoned Investor today and told her I would like $1500 for a Bird-dog fee-and it did not offend her or surprise her as she proceeded to take me to her house to get the bandit signs that I put out tonight for her. I get my $1500 figure from reading RINA's posts - and I believe that was about what she got for her first property or so from her Investor when she was getting started. So since you are not a charity case-but your analysis/help is invaluable and you should get paid appropiately for that- I'm reading $1000-$1500 is probably right in the ballpark of a reasonable fee. No need to apologize for this-you are worth it--heck-you're probably worth more than this-but again-it is certainly reasonable -and gives you a ballpark to consider- Let us know how it goes.


JER 29:11 Thoughts of Hope; thoughts of a blessed Future

Getting Educated

OK so I read Dean's book and I gotta say its a really really GOOD book! I was worried it would read like a text book and thus bore me to tears causing me to put it up on the shelf and never look at it again. What a lovely pleasant surprise to find out how easy it is to read! In fact I found myself chuckling and even out right laughed a few times.

After shaking my head like an etch-a-sketch and clearing out all the conventional ways to go about this I then allowed all of Dean's teaching to filter in and start creating a larger more concrete picture in my mind.

The way we see it Dean made this program as a map and we plan to follow it to the letter. That way we see more success at a faster rate and all our dreams will be reachable because we have created this wealth where there was none!

One thing I am finding out though just by mentioning to a small handful of people that we are Real Estate Investors is there are a whole heck of a lot of FSBO's wanting to sell! In fact we had to turn down a couple of deals that would probably have been fairly profitable because we simply are not ready. We can't develop a sellers list before we have the buyers list now can we?

Even so it has given us even more hope and inspiration than we already had!

When we sit down to talk to our friends about their house hunting we are going to see if they can wait a few weeks before going full speed on looking for their home. The few weeks will give us time to get all our ducks in a row. We still want to help them but by using Dean's strategies we believe we will be able to get them a much better deal while making enough money to get the things we really REALLY need done ASAP!

I have had my first panic attacks. This is a really really HUGE step to take and reading Dean's book made that fact hit home. What I am doing about that though is to breath and say to myself, 'I am so very very VERY grateful to have this opportunity to reach for my dreams.' I will say it as many times as I need to until I start to feel positive again and then I say a quick prayer of thanks and guidance putting all of my doubts and fears in Gods hands and going forth secure in the knowledge that what we need will be provided as long as we continue to work hard while keeping our faith intact. On another hand reading Dean's book has also done a lot to help alleviate some worries and fears because everything is explained and spelled out so clearly.

All that said we are going to use the holidays to do everything we can do without spending a single dime. Then the first payday after the holiday we will buy our business cards (I now see why printing them ourselves won't be such a money saving help as much as it would make us look cheep) get our bandit signs made, get our automated lines up and running, buy a printer/fax and go from there. (I even told some family members how badly we need a printer/fax and that if anyone had an old one it would be a wonderful Christmas gift for us!)

Thank you all for the help you have offered even though I was blindly leaping into this with my previous posts. That just tells me how good this site will be for us and others who are getting started. I look forward to learning more and networking with everyone here on the site to further our education and help others who are starting out to get that education and start realizing their dreams as well.


You can't save the world but you can offer a hand up to a few along your way.


WOW SIANA,you have inspired me even more. I have been soaking up everything on this site now for over a month. I think I'm something like what you are doing. But haven't been able to get Dean's Books. I will definitely get my books with next Fridays check!!!!!!! Everyone here is so positive, willing, and Wanting to help so very much! That has been my desire to not only do something that helps me, buteven more so to help others realize their Hopes and Dreams. Thanks to myou, everyone on this site, and specially to Dean.

Siana build BOTH list!

Building a buyers list is something I am focusing on this month into the next, but especially with FSBO they are perfect for building your sellers list BECAUSE they decided to do this(sell their house) themselves. Building either list will result in the finding of the opposite list! Continue to be motivated! Keep your eye on the goal, and forge ahead!


Proudly serving God, You, and Country,
Edwin Epperson

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."
-Elbert Hubbard