The average speed to flip a house is about six months. Experienced flippers may be able to expedite the process, and first-time flippers may take longer.
According to Flipping Prosperity, a typical timeline looks like this:
- Purchasing: 2 Weeks
- Rehabbing: 10 Weeks
- Marketing: 4 Weeks
- Sale: 6 Weeks
- Total Time: 22 Weeks or 4 to 6 Months
Of course, the faster you flip, the sooner you can see a return on your investment. Knowledge of the best places to look for properties, having the right team to rehab a single-family or multi-unit property, and developing a solid sales and marketing plan are all factors that contribute to flipping speed.
The Best Places To Flip Right Now
Real estate market conditions change over time, but the top 10 best geographies for flips in 2021, as reported by WalletHub, are:
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Missoula, Montana
- Peoria, Arizona
- Nampa, Idaho
- Tampa, Florida
- Mobile, Alabama
- Boise, Idaho
- Rapid City, South Dakota
- Gilbert, Arizona
- Knoxville, Tennessee
The complete WalletHub list comprises 172 areas, but keep in mind that you can find a great flipping deal in any market. You just need to use all available data to find a property, calculate your potential return, and market it effectively.
Flipping a property in or outside of your geography can present challenges. Smart investors use a system like PropStream to drill down into specific areas within a city or town and get a deep understanding of home values, sale prices, and inventory. PropStream also has a Rehab Estimator Tool, which can help you better understand your 'fix' project budget based on the geographical area for the various renovations that are needed. It can also give you budget ranges for things like the quality of finish level and contracting vs. doing it yourself.
Finding off-market deals can also be a great way to identify properties for flipping. If you're the first investor to express interest in a property, you may be able to move a deal along quickly.
Expediting the Rehab Process
As noted above, repairs and upgrades can take up to 10 weeks. Knowing the costs of rehabs before you even sign a contract is critical, and PropStream can help with its Rehab Estimator Tool. You also need to line up trustworthy contractors in the local market because you may or may not be present to oversee the day-to-day work on the property, and knowing the expected price ranges can help you find the right partners.
Out-of-town investors and flippers should carefully study conditions in a specific market that might negatively or positively impact rehab costs. Do your homework before you buy. For example:
- In Arizona, radon exposure may be a costly concern.
- Because hurricanes often hit Florida, you'll want to ensure your property is not in a flood zone.
- Renovation costs and timing can vary widely from city to city. Little Rock, Arkansas, has the lowest costs for full-house remodeling.
Having your financing lined up can also speed up your flipping investment and help you get moving on the rehab. Lenders have been generous with financing for home flips in recent years, but be sure to research the different types of flip loans, sources, and terms, especially if you're a first-time flipper.
Great Real Estate Marketing Takes Focus and Relationships
Assuming you've selected a hot market and properly priced your property, you should find qualified buyers. Don't be complacent, though. "Flip it, and they will come" is not a sound strategy. Budget for marketing and sales efforts when you're estimating costs. It's never too early to craft an effective marketing and sales plan.
As you're rehabbing the property, think about curb appeal and use signage to build excitement outside the home, especially in areas with large drive-by or walk-by populations. Network in the area with the top brokers, use social media to your advantage and list the upgrades and improvements made.
We'll say it again: The faster you flip, the quicker you'll see a return on your investment. Use the right tools so you can move quickly and get on to your next lucrative real estate deal.