Real Estate Investor Flashlight

10 Must Have Things To Bring When Viewing A Property

Danny Johnson / 17 comments

After being covered in fleas last week while viewing a vacant house, I decided to write this article on some things that you should seriously consider bringing with you when you go to view a property.

  1. OFF (Flea Spray)
  2. This is a must have as the days get warmer and you are going to look at a vacant property. Being covered in fleas stinks, especially when you don’t realize they are hitching a ride on you until you are in car driving away.

  3. Hand Sanitizer
  4. If you haven’t been in many fixer uppers, you might not have thought of this. When I run out, I am usually headed straight to a cornerstore to get more. After going through houses that look like they’ve never, ever been cleaned, and you have to touch doorknobs, light switches and cabinet handles, you will be cringing as you feel the greasy, dirtiness.

  5. Flash Light
  6. Many of these houses do not have electricity. A mag lite flashlight was what I used to use, but I got sick of having to buy new batteries. They are good safety as well as you could hit an attacker over the head with it if you needed to. I use an 18v rechargeable DeWalt flashlight nowadays. It seems to put out better light as well.

  7. Digital Camera and/or Flip Video
  8. Whether the house is vacant or not, you should take a camera with you to take as many pictures as you can. This really helps when you can’t remember a certain aspect of the house. Viewing the pictures is much easier than going all the way back over to the property. This is especially useful if you are wholesaling and the house is occupied.

  9. Cordless Screwdriver
  10. This one comes in handy when properties are boarded up.

  11. Checklist
  12. Checklists are not just for beginners. You may know what to look for at each property, but it is easy to forget one item that might cost you some serious money. This is something that carries over from flying. When I took my mom up for her first flight in a Cessna 172, she seemed concerned that I was going over the checklist before starting the plane. In flying, there is a checklist for everything. You can memorize everything, but the checklist is there to make sure you don’t forget something. Your inspection checklist doesn’t have to include every little thing, but it should include the big items that can get costly if missed (i.e., water heater, AC, doors…) Get AND USE a checklist. You can download mine on the Flipping Houses Resources Page. In flying, if you miss something serious, you can’t just pull over. In real estate, if you miss something, you can’t just give the house back.

  13. Purchase Agreement
  14. This one seems like common sense, if you are meeting a seller. But, I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to get a contract out of my car, only to realize I didn’t have anymore!!! This is the time to get super stressed. The seller is ready to deal. You give them an hour or more to think about it and they might start hesitating. Always bring several copies of contracts. While you are at it, make sure you have several working pens.

  15. Your Lead Analysis
  16. You should always be prepared to make an offer on a property while at the property, or at least try to. Try to have some comparable sales in the area and a good idea of ARV (After Repaired Value). It’s best to avoid telling a seller that you will get back to them. If they are motivated and it is a good deal, you’d better be ready to make a decision. Drive the comps before viewing the property. Calculate your MAO (maximum allowable offer – this will have to be less repairs after you see the house).

  17. Calculator
  18. Most phones now have adequate calculators. If yours doesn’t bring a calculator. You really don’t want to mess up a calculation when you are dealing with thousands of dollars.

  19. Credibility Builders
  20. This includes business cars, brochures and other items that enhance your credibility. I’ve got a tri-fold brochure that includes testimonials from people I’ve bought houses from. It has a space on the back for where I write in my offer. If the sellers do not decided to accept right then, I leave it with them so they can look it over, read it and let it sell them on the idea of selling to me. I’ve heard of some investors taking a photo album with before and after pictures of rehabs they’ve done. I wasn’t sure about this, but I’m sure it helps to build rapport.

Now that you know what you need, gather your gear and look at some el dumpos!

Bonus: Click Here to Download My Top 5 Motivated Seller Marketing Methods Guide pdf that will show you, in awesome detail how to use 5 different marketing methods to generate great leads consistently.

If you have anything to add, please don’t hesitate to mention them by leaving a comment. I will consider adding them to the list.

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17 awesome responses to “10 Must Have Things To Bring When Viewing A Property”

  1. Simon Shih on


    Next question. Where did you get your purchase agreement? Is there a template I can download somewhere? Do you use an agent? A lawyer?

  2. Bilgefisher on

    Good idea to have the lead analysis done. I’ll remember that.

    I hear ya on hand sanitizer. Its incredible how some people live. I don’t mind though, chances are they are doing the same thing to the place they have moved too. Another opportunity for another day.

  3. Anthony C on


    Great blog you have going..i hope you keep with it! Do you purchase these properties under an LLC or outright? Also, I can’t seem to find any posts on the selling of these properties you’re I missing something? thanks!

  4. Jim on

    Hi Danny…this is all quite fascinating. Thanks for all your hard work on this. Can you share your probate letter with us? Thanks!

  5. Mark Brenwall on


    Really loving the blog. I’m learning so much!
    Wondering if you’d be willing to share your property analysis checklist with us?


  6. Adam Clemmons on


    I’m a huge fan of your blog and appreciate all the effort you and your wife are putting into it.

    I was wondering how you went about estimating repairs in the early days, before you knew from experience what certain work would cost?

    Did you bring a contractor with you to perform estimates during inspection? Was there any significant cost associated with that estimate/inspection process?

    Thanks again for the best flip resource on the web 🙂

  7. Junior S on

    Estimating repair value is definitely what worries me the most. Is there no way of estimating cosmetic repairs on an 1100 sq ft home. With 15k in repairs on a property like that, wouldnt that be larger repairs. I had a contractor tell me that and another tell me that it was more around 8K. Probably the best thing would be to link up with an experienced investor huh?