Investor Special Keywords – Using the MLS to Find Houses



One of the most overlooked ways for finding real estate investments is the MLS.

When searching the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for properties that might be attractive to investors, particularly those looking for fixer-uppers or properties that can be purchased below market value and renovated, certain keywords can be quite helpful. Here are some terms that often indicate such opportunities:

  1. Fixer-Upper: Explicitly indicates a property needing repairs or renovations.
  2. As-Is: Suggests the seller is not willing to make repairs, often indicating a lower price.
  3. Needs Work: Similar to “fixer-upper,” this implies significant repairs are needed.
  4. Investor Special: Typically used for properties that may have significant upside potential for investors.
  5. Estate Sale: Often means the property is being sold to settle an estate, and might be priced to sell quickly.
  6. Probate Sale: Similar to an estate sale, these properties can be below market value.
  7. Distressed Property: Indicates financial or physical distress, potentially leading to a lower price.
  8. Foreclosure: A property that has been repossessed by a lender and is often sold below market value.
  9. Bank-Owned or REO (Real Estate Owned): Properties owned by a lender, typically after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction.
  10. Short Sale: The seller owes more on the property than its current value and is trying to sell it with the lender’s permission.
  11. Motivated Seller: Implies the seller is eager to sell and may be open to negotiation.
  12. Must Sell: Similar to “motivated seller,” indicating a high level of urgency.
  13. Handyman Special: A property that requires repair work, usually significant.
  14. Contractor’s Special: Often requires more extensive work than a typical fixer-upper.
  15. Renovation Opportunity: Indicates a potential for value increase through renovation.
  16. Untouched or Original Condition: Often implies the property hasn’t been updated in many years.
  17. Diamond in the Rough: A property with potential that may require work to realize its full value.