Secrets of Successful House Flippers

Investors flipped some 100,000 homes in 2012’s first half, making an average of about $30,000 per house.

Ranch style sided house with very tall overgrown weeds. Foreclosure home. Short sale. Bank owned home.
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[Read: 6 Tips for a Budget-Friendly Home Makeover.]

Don't put it on the market too soon. "A lot of rookie people are in such a rush to get a property on the market, and it's not ready yet," says Doug Clark, a house flipper in Salt Lake City and cohost of Flip Men on Spike TV. "I used to do it and every time I did it, I started feeling like a builder, getting all these special requests from buyers. Wait until the absolute end, when it looks right, smells right, and it's staged with furniture."

Get a good, qualified buyer. If a buyer falls in love with the property but can't afford the mortgage, you'll waste precious time, so it's a good idea to get pre-qualification from a reputable mortgage broker. "Get to the point of sale knowing the person you're selling to is qualified to purchase the property," says Seymour. "Otherwise, that slows down the selling time, and it seasons the property on the market. It makes the whole project stale, and people start looking for price drops." Plus, the longer a property sits on the market, the greater the likelihood that profits could get eaten by carrying costs.