Real Estate Agent for Buyers

Buyer's Agent

Buyers should, with few exceptions, always utilize the services of a buyer's agent. There really is no downside since buyers don't pay any of the brokerage commissions, while, the measurable benefits ($) can be significant.

Our Buying Process
How We Evaluate Properties
Search Properties
Real Estate Buyer's Agent

Why You Need a Buyer's Agent

Listing Brokers have a fiduciary responsibility to get the best deal they can for one side of the transaction – the seller’s side.

But, when you’re a buyer, don’t you also deserve to have someone looking out for your best interests?

That’s where we come in. Our firm was founded specializing in buyer representation. We level the playing field by guiding investors through the entire process, from the initial requirements stage through identification, screening and acquisition (including financing).

Meet the Buyer's Agents
Contact Buyer's Agents

Our Buying Process

Step 1

Meeting & Discussion

Agent's Role
  • Why Us
  • Process Explanation
  • Current Market & Opportunities
Buyer's Role
  • Current Situation
  • Goals
  • Requirements
  • Risk Tolerance
  • Time-line

We start by discussing your current situation, real estate investment goals, risk profile and timeline. We’ll provide an accurate overview of the current market and go through a question-and-answer session as needed/wanted.

Frequently Asked Questions
Step 2

Strategy & Action Plan

Agent's Role
  • Identify & Present Options
  • Investment Analysis & Projections
Buyer's Role
  • Input Regarding Preferences
  • Ask Questions
  • Role Desired in Process

Once we understand what you want to achieve, we work with you to formulate a realistic strategy to achieve your future goals for return on investment. This stage includes:

  • Financial analysis of your current holdings, if applicable (you first need to know where you stand)
  • Return on investment models comparing various purchase and/or 1031 exchange scenarios
  • Property type analysis (weighing the pros, cons, risks, variables, etc. that affect your portfolio)
  • Finance/mortgage strategy (your best use of debt/leverage)
  • Ownership structure decision plus asset and personal liability protection
  • Define roles (our role and your role) clarifying who will do what, when and how
Step 3

Property Search

Agent's Role
  • Screen Opportunities
  • Provide Short-list Inc. Analysis & Narrative
Buyer's Role
  • Provide Feedback on Identified
  • Acquisition Options

Once you give us the go ahead, we begin a comprehensive search for suitable properties. We not only have access to the properties listed on the open market, but also many "silent sale sources". We pre-screen candidate properties to find the best matches for your criteria.

Our pre-screening includes valuation analysis, investment/return forecasts and tax implication analysis. We investigate any potential title or transfer issues.

We inspect candidate properties to get a fix on their physical condition, review documents related to the properties and analyze comparable sales to “reality check” asking prices. We research rental rates for like-kind properties to see if a property’s rents are too low and if a seller’s rent forecasts are too high.

We investigate seller motivations and interest among other buyers in the marketplace. We do a lender review and feasibility analysis of lending options available to you.

Then, we produce a written narrative for you ranking your purchase options with pros, cons and considerations specific to your comfort level.

Step 4

Acquisition & Financing

Agent's Role
  • Prepare “Offer” and Commence Negotiations
  • Determine & Arrange Best Financing
Buyer's Role
  • Participate In Due Diligence
  • Provide Necessary Docs For Financing

If you decide to proceed, we formulate an acquisition strategy to see that the property is bought at the best possible price and terms. And of course, the submitted offer will include all necessary contingencies allowing time for due diligence items that may not have been completed during the pre-screening process.

Key items in the Purchase & Sale Agreement include:

  • Contingencies for professional inspection-s, environmental/soil, comprehensive document review, regulatory use/development issues, title exceptions, appraised value, etc.
  • Applicable property performance and/or maintenance benchmarks (minimums) to be maintained and/or achieved during the contract period
  • Specific contingency language pertaining to the amount and terms of acceptable loan needed
  • Guidance regarding the appropriate use of financing leverage and ultimately the direct arrangement of the best available financing for your particular situation
  • Support at closing including "settlement statement" review prior to "signing"
Step 5

Post-Closing Services

Agent's Role
  • Provide Recommended Plan For Management & Operations
Buyer's Role
  • Input/Decision Regarding Roles of 3rd Party Professionals & Vendors

The long-term success of your property investment must be maximized through proactive asset management (NOTE: asset management is not the same as property management). It’s not enough to “buy, hold and hope." Part of our complete service as your buyer’s agent is getting your new investment off on the right foot with a solid long-term asset management strategy.

The compounding effect of even modest annual net operating income growth has a dramatic effect on your property’s long-term returns and future value. But growing your net operating income is a proactive and continuing process. Sadly, far too many owners allow the long-term potential of a good purchase to erode, sometimes within a handful of years.

Our goal is to keep you from becoming one of those ill-fated buyers as part of our Post-Closing services. See Property Owner Landlord Services page.

How We Evaluate Properties

Investor Profile

Investor has $800,000 - $850,000 from a cash-out refinance on another owned property to invest in an additional property

Investor is interested in either apartments or a single-tenant industrial property

Investor would prefer a turn-key property but would considera value-add apartment property if needed only modest updates and rents could be increased to justify the cost of improvements

Investor in interested in properties in Oregon, the Portland-metro area or a strong secondary market

Potential Acquisitions Being Considered

Property 1

Turn-key, condo quality apartment building (13 units).  A performing asset that has been well-maintained.  Current rents are close to market.  A few rent increases are anticipated in the next few months upon lease renewal.  Property is located on the Eastside of Portland, Oregon.  The current owner is retiring and exiting the market.

Property 2

Garden style apartment building (16 units) located in the outskirts of Portland, Oregon (Gresham). Property has been owned by a partnership for about three years.  Quite a bit of deferred maintenance has now been completed.  Current owners have started to increase rents that are currently low (about $75 per unit). There is some valued-add upside through these rent increases. The current owners are separating their partnership, so have decided to sell.

Property 3

Single-tenant Industrial building with a financially strong tenant and long-term lease in place with 3% annual rent increases.  The lease is NNN, so the tenant pays most of the operating expenses.  So, the Net Operating Income is very stable year over year.  From an ownership perspective, would be easier to oversee than an apartment building requiring professional property management. Current owner (seller) is doing a 1031 Exchange into a larger property.

Realty Yield's Role

We have pre-screened available properties on the market and have initially narrowed it down to three potential acquisitions that fit the criteria outlined by our Client.

A financial-investment analysis of these properties has been performed.  Projected pre-tax and after-tax cash flow, loan impact and projected appreciation has been modeled and compared.

Investment Tools

Download a sample of Property Valuation Return Projection Comparison Chart, which is one of the proprietary Investment Tools we utilizes when working with Clients.  

Real Estate Brokerage
Transactions
Apartment / Commercial Financing
Transactions
1031 Exchange
Transactions

Client Testimonials

All Testimonials
Mike Carlson has the ability to analyze and plan a strategy which takes advantage of market conditions, incorporates the best financing options and most importantly, maximizes the return on your equity. Mike is the real deal, honest, trustworthy and highly capable. I am happy to recommend him to anyone looking for assistance with their multi-family portfolio.
Gary M
2003 ~ Current
For anyone with real estate investments, Mike Carlson’s services are a necessity in order to achieve top results. Mike Carlson is very astute and knowledgeable in not only all aspects of real estate investment and wealth management but also in a wide scope business matters in general.
Lynn L
2005 ~ Current
Mike Carlson and his company are great - very professional, experienced and comfortable to work with. Mike’s analysis and technical abilities is top drawer! He knows how to evaluate portfolios and properties to determine the best investment strategy. Mike Carlson’s brokerage and negotiation skills are very polished and effective. Make no mistake about it; there is a distinct advantage in utilizing an experienced financing liaison. Carlson not only found good properties but also good financing. He made the entire deal work!
John B
2003 ~ Current
Mike has been what I was looking for in a commercial realtor. He has the unique ability to apply financial numbers to a project and not let the emotions of a property cloud the analysis. Working with Mike has always been about good communication and he does a great job. When you do finally find a property worth pursuing he is not pressuring you to make the offer and get the commission. It’s more about the long-term relationship. He reassured me that if he does a good job on this deal I will probably be back for more and sure enough I am in the hunt again.
Clinton L
2008 ~ Current
We were so pleased with Mike’s handling of the sale, purchase and financing of our real estate that we referenced Mike as a contact for our children and our attorney if we should die and the children were to be left with the apartments. We knew that Mike would be honorable and not take advantage of them in settling our real estate holdings.
L Family LLC
2004 ~ Current
I have had the privilege of having a close personal friendship with Mike Carlson for nearly 30 years. As a friend, Mike is a standout. He is a loyal, honest, considerate, and supportive individual who has the ability to see and understand things from another person's perspective. Mike's candor and business savvy merely scratches the surface of his character. As he would for me, I would do anything to help him or his family.
Chris H
Current
I have been working with Mike since 2002. He is the driving force behind the investment real estate strategies implemented leading to our wealth gain over the last 8 years. He has handled all of our significant transactions and loans. When I contacted Mike in late 2008 and told him I thought I wanted to retire and sell my properties, he actually talked me out of it. How many brokers have you ever met that passed on a significant commission because he knew the market timing was not right? He told me the same thing again in 2009. If this doesn’t show his integrity and prove that he always has his client’s best interest in mind, I don’t know what does. I will act when he tells me its time.
Linda G
2002 ~ Current
Mike Carlson possesses an amazing range of skills and abilities from a constant understanding of the big picture to meticulous management of all the details of complex investment real estate transactions. For anyone with real estate investments, Mike Carlson's services are a necessity in order to achieve top results. Mike Carlson is very astute and knowledgeable in not only all aspects of real estate investment and wealth management but also in a wide scope business matters in general.
Lynn W
2005 ~ Current

Our Selling Process

Here's the step-by-step methodology and process Realty Yield encourages all sellers to follow before listing a property for sale.

Let's take the example below and apply the step-by-step methodology and process I encourage all sellers to go through before "launching" a property for-sale. Note: the data/fact-set closely aligns with an actual sale.

Our experience has shown over many years that very few owners (even highly experienced private owner-investors) truly understand the impact of even a “few thousand dollars” of supported Net Operating Income on income-property valuation at selling time. Let's take the below example and apply the step-by-step methodology and process I encourage all sellers to go through before "launching" a property for sale.

Example
Typical 30-Unit Apartment Building

This includes both the financial and physical components.

  • Current rents average $700 per unit which equals $252,000 in annual rent income.
  • Current other income (late fees - $600, laundry - $2,400, parking - $0, storage - $0, tenant utilities reimbursement -  $0, all other - $0) equals $3,000 annually.
  • Current operating expenses (taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, professional management, all other) equals $120,000 annually.

Hence, current Net Operating Income = $135,000 ($252,000 + $3,000 (-) $120,000)

Assuming a market capitalization rate of 6.75%, this equates to a current value of ~$2,000,000

Step 1

Pre-Sale Assessment of Property

Agent's Role
  • Analyze Rent-roll, Financials & Physical Issues
  • Quantify Value of Implementing Recommendations
Seller's Role
  • Provide Realty Yield Operating Financials
  • Work with RY To Complete Physical Inspection

This includes both the financial and physical components.

The financial factors include: current rents versus market/full rents, current other income versus potential, the current operating expense load versus optimal and any “easy/near-term” added-value opportunities that could be implemented before sale.

The physical components would include all “lower cost” aesthetic items (paint, landscaping, minor repairs, signage, lighting (exterior), litter & debris (exterior) and all/most minor unit deficiencies (worn out floor coverings, failing appliances, paint, etc.).

More often than not (unless the owner is a full-time professional investor and active asset manager), there is a list of both “financial” and “physical” items that a prudent owner should address PRIOR to advertising on the open market.  Furthermore, many of these items often can take months to correct/implement.

Unfortunately, too many sellers don't get the benefit of an analysis before they decide to sell.

Example Continued
Typical 30-Unit Apartment Building

Continuing with our 30-unit example case study above, Realty Yield’s assessment and analysis has determined:

  • Rents can easily be bumped to average $725 per unit, which equates to $261,000 in annual rent income (+$9,000 over current)
  • New “other income” can be generated by charging for extra parking spaces (10 spaces x $25 monthly = $3,000 annually) and implementing a utility bill-back program to have tenants contribute to raising utility costs = $5,500 annually).  Total increase estimated @ +$8,500 annually.
  • Operating expenses can be reduced in the following areas:
    - Utilities (garbage) by reducing number of receptacles from 3 to 2.  Savings = -$1,800 annually
    - Repairs & Maintenance by utilizing third party subcontractors versus property management company personnel.  Savings = -$5,700 annually
  • Minor physical deficiencies appear to negatively impact the number of drive-by inquires and application of quality new tenants.  Additionally, existing tenant perception is that owner is not maintaining property adequately.

The financial ramifications of the above, to a selling owner, cannot be overstated.  The projected increase in likely sale price by acting on the above is/was as follows:

  • Projected rental income: $261,000
  • Projected “other income”: $8,500
  • Projected operating expenses: <$112,500>
  • Projected NET OPERATING INCOME: $157,000 (up from $135,000)

Assuming the same market capitalization rate of 6.75%, this equates to a new/projected value of ~$2,325,925.  Most owners would make the choice of waiting a few months before selling if this eye-opening analysis was simply communicated by a seller's adviser/listing broker.

Step 2

Pre-Sale Strategy & Action Plan

Agent's Role
  • Draft, Direct & Manage Pre-Sale Action Plan & Timeline
Seller's Role
  • Provide Input & Approve Pre-Sale Plan & Timeline

The reality is that initiating a rent bump, implementing a utility bill-back program, collecting parking space income, transitioning to third party R&M vendors and fixing a laundry list of repairs is going to take some period of time before the improved financial results are reflected on an operating statement.

Realty Yield will work with you to draft a written plan and timeline as well as participate in the execution and management of this process.  We do it all the time.

Realty Yield is not one of those brokers that will hurry you to market just to close a sale and make a commission.  In fact, in many cases I strongly recommend just the opposite.  Ask my clients directly -- they will confirm this is true.

Step 3

Pricing & Offering Memorandum

Agent's Role
  • Determine Current/New Property Value & Suggest Price
  • Prepare Offering Memorandum
Seller's Role
  • Approve Listing Price and Offering Memorandum

In order to price a property properly we will compile a list of like-kind comparable sales, perform our own valuation analysis, review recent appraisals of similar properties, review current for-sale competition and factor any value-add/upside opportunities, which the subject property would afford a buyer.

Pricing should be done right from the get-go.  We don’t "buy" listings; in other words we won’t tell you your property is worth more than it really is just to get a listing, then later ask you to lower the price because the “market has changed.”

You will get an honest opinion-of-value for your property from the beginning.  We encourage sellers to think like buyers.  If you wouldn’t buy your own property based on what is being presented, why would someone else?  Again, top-of-market but realistic initial pricing is required if you want to work with us.

Realty Yield will then prepare the Offering Memorandum (marketing packages).  Our marketing materials are the culmination of many years of experience in knowing what gets results for our sellers and what doesn’t.  But again, don’t take our word for it.  According to the analytics from LoopNet (the #1 commercial-investment real estate listing site on the Internet), our listings are consistently in the top 5% of most accessed (clicked-on).  The numbers don’t lie.

Our materials work because we don’t rely on generic, regurgitated data points.  The emphasis is on the numbers (likely investment returns for a new owner/buyer).  After all, isn’t the bottom-line about making money?  Yes, we also appropriately feature a representative sample of quality photos, rent comparables, sales comparables, market/sub-market and demographic information, maps, etc.

Our marketing packages are very focused on clearly differentiating your property (why a buyer should invest in it) supported by objective, compelling financial/investment return metrics.

All sellers should ask to see samples of a broker’s marketing materials before retaining them.  I look forward to sharing mine with you.

Step 4

Marketing & Advertising

Agent's Role
  • Expose Property Through All Available Channels
Seller's Role
  • Inform Realty Yield of Any Material Changes In Property Operations, if applicable

There is no downside to maximizing exposure.  Obviously, the more qualified prospective buyers the offering gets in front of, the better.  We utilize all the following channels:

  • Commercial property listing websites (LoopNet, Showcase/Co-Star, CIMLS, Commercial Source, VerticalEmail, RMLS, Apartments For Sale, more…)
  • The broker community
  • Outreach to principal owners of other investment real estate
  • Current Realty Yield clients
  • Mid-high net worth individuals reallocating capital from other asset classes
Step 5

Putting a Deal Together

Agent's Role
  • Assess / Qualify Buyers
  • Negotiate Price & PSA Terms
  • Manage Process Through Closing
Seller's Role
  • Approve Buyer, Price and Contract Terms
  • Support Realty Yield During Buyer’s Due Diligence Period

Not all buyers/investors are created equal.  Circumstances, motivation, buyer experience, and selling broker's expertise all factor in on “selecting” the right buyer.  Our experience will pay big dividends here and all but eliminate false starts.

Negotiating/maintaining a final agreed upon sale price, which is at/close to the full listing price is much easier when the groundwork has been properly laid.  Since we support our listings and pricing with objective, verifiable data, big price concessions are not something our clients/sellers have to deal with.

Having said that, negotiations are part of every deal.  I have directly brokered more than $200,000,000 worth of investment real estate deals.  There is no substitute for experience.  I know all brokers/sales people say they are expert negotiators, but if you ask my clients they will confirm that claim with their real world results.

One other key added-value component we bring to our listing agent services is that we also broker commercial mortgages (the financing most buyers need/want).  Deals fail for financing reasons more than anything else.  This won’t happen with us.  We know without a doubt what loans are available, what amounts can be borrowed and which buyers will be able to secure financing.  In the many cases in which we end up doing the financing for the buyer, it turns out to be a win-win for everybody.

The bottom line is that our experience results in very few sale-fails once a property is put into contract.