Set Goals to Succeed in Short Sales

By: Mark Sumpter

Without goals you won't know where you're going - and you won't know whether you're getting there. Without goals, you won't succeed. It's that simple.

Goals are like building blocks: extremely short-term goals support other short-term goals, and short-term goals support mid-term and long-range goals. To determine your short-term goals, you'll have to determine your long-term goals first.

Let's say your goal is to own $10 million in real estate in twenty years. Great! Now you have to get there. You can break that goal down into manageable chunks:

* After five years: own $1 million in real estate.
* After ten years: own $3 million in real estate.
* After fifteen years: own $7 million in real estate.
* After twenty years: own $10 million in real estate.

Now you can break that down further:

* After one year: own two properties worth $175,000.
* After two years: own four properties worth $350,000.
* After three years: own six properties worth $550,000.
* Etc.

If you keep breaking your goals down into more and more manageable chunks, what seems like an insurmountable task - owning $10 million in real estate - can actually be quite achievable. And if it feels manageable, you'll have more confidence, and you'll be more likely to stay on the path to your dreams.

For instance, let's say you currently don't own your own home - say you own no real estate at all. But, based on the above goal breakdown, your goal for your first year is to own two properties worth $175,000. How will you get there? Here's how you could break it down:

Goal: Own Two Properties Worth $175,000 in One Year
Month 1
Week 1: Meet with at least two lenders to determine if I qualify for financing. If I don't, focus on seller-financed properties, see if relatives will co-sign on loans, and identify other creative financing possibilities by the end of the week.

Meet with and interview at least three real estate agents to find an agent you're comfortable with, and who has the kind of expertise you're looking for.

Look at newspaper listings, internet listings, and local real estate agency advertisements for at least thirty minutes every day to get a sense of available properties and the local market.

Week 2: Choose an agent and make appointments to see at least four properties that fit your needs and financial situation.

Plan to generate as much capital for a down payment as you can: sell assets, shift money out of stocks or other investments (if necessary).

Call sellers offering owner financing, make appointments to inspect appropriate properties.

Week 3: Determine if any available properties are suitable for you; if so, assess their value and make an offer. Negotiate as necessary.

Find a good real estate attorney to handle your real estate affairs.

Week 4: Finalize contract (if negotiations are successful); if not, continue inspecting at least four properties per week. If successful, begin process of finalizing transaction; in the meantime, continue inspecting at least two properties per week for future investments.

...

Week 26: Make offer on second property.....Etc.

If you work backwards from the creation of long-term goals to mid-term and short-term goals, you'll create an action plan that will allow you to reach your dreams in short sales or otherwise. It's not hard to do, and it can be really fun - simply think as big as you like, and then work backwards to decide what you'll need to do to make your dreams happen. Don't start from where you are today; start from where you want to be, and work backwards to today.

To make your own goal worksheet, simply take a pad of paper and put your long-term goal at the top. Then, in outline form, break down the intermediate steps you'll need to achieve them. Under those steps, break down the tasks further. When you're done you should have short-term goals you wish to reach that are no longer than one week in duration - if you allow yourself too much time, you're more likely to put them off.

Once a goal or task is complete, check it off your list. You'll enjoy the sense of accomplishment, and you'll stay on track with your action plans.

Remember, you can revise your action plans at any time. If you find an investment that's too good to pass up, you might change your short-term goals. Just make sure you don't change your goals or your action plans due to inactivity - you'll never reach your dreams if you don't take action on a consistent basis. It will take work and effort, but you can do it. Thousands of people are successful real estate investors - there's no reason you can't be, too.

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