Inevitably when one channel surfs through the hundreds of available cable or satellite T.V. channels up pops a series of “flipping” shows that have obtained quite an audience over the years. First introduced at the tail end of the housing debacle they pretty much all feature someone who finds areal estate investing bargain property, usually at a foreclosure auction, fixes it up and sells it for a profit.

That can motivate certain audience members to get into real estate investing and while that’s a good thing unless the newly crowned real estate investor does a bit of research and approaches the very first project with care, it can end up being a disaster. Real estate can make money but it can certainly lose it as well.

If you’re motivated to be a first time real estate investor before you get too much further in your career you’d better do some major research. It’s much more than just finding a property below market and selling it for more, you need to make sure you’ll get how much you want out of the sale once sold. And unless you’re a licensed real estate agent with years of experience buying and selling property full time, you need to find you one.

Successful real estate agents tend to become experts in particular section of town or a community. They know what homes can sell for and how long it will take to sell like no one else can. There’s no reason not to use an agent. You could make some serious mistakes that could cost you thousands and even turn a profitable venture into a money pit. Sure, you’ll pay a sales commission to the agent when you sell the property but you don’t have to pay a cent to have an agent find one for you. Once you close your first deal, the agent will always be on the lookout for your next successful investment.