When you hear the words “fix-and-flip” or, as I usually hear it at work, “flip” (sometimes with an unprintable adjective thrown in there as well), you probably immediately think of beginnings and endings. If you’re like most people, you think about the beautiful finished product of a cash-flowing rental or a retail-ready property ready to list. Then, you likely imagine the “before” photos, which are not as pretty but are still full of hidden potential. If you are a real estate investor, though, it’s the space between the beginning and the end that really counts and, in most cases, will make or break your deal.

What Goes In “The Middle?”

The “middle” of a real estate deal, at least when it is a fixer-upper or a flip, is the most important part of the equation. Here are just a few of the things we find fall in the middle – and sometimes through the cracks – when we work with real estate investors:

  • The Big Stuff: The “big stuff” includes HVAC components, doors, flooring, and appliances. While very few investors overlook this “big stuff,” a lot of them do miss the opportunity to improve their margins by ordering it through a connected supplier that orders in bulk and, as a result, can offer lower prices even on smaller orders.


  • Window Dressing: According to Remodeling Magazine, replacing the windows themselves can yield returns of 80 percent or more. If you don’t want to do that, however, just installing clean, fresh window treatments, like mini-blinds, can help a home feel move-in ready. Many investors do not realize these, too, can be purchased at a discount, delivered to a vacant property for a fast installation, and even ordered via mobile app with some materials providers.


  • The Invisible Stuff: We do not refer to this stuff as “the small stuff” because some of it is not necessarily small. Instead, it is invisible and therefore sometimes overlooked or forgotten. This category includes big things, like pipes and plumbing, and truly small things, like fixtures and hardware.


Put All Your “Stuff” in One Place

Most investors do not realize that some materials suppliers actually can coordinate delivery of all of these categories of “stuff” and, additionally, may even offer coordinated ordering and inventory if your business is large enough. Think Realty discount supplier Barnett, a Home Depot company, not only offers all of these options to investors on all scales, but also provides access to multiple discount opportunities through Think Realty’s Discounts.

Think Realty members save an average of 15-25% off retail pricing on many of their flipping supplies. Learn how.

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  • Brian Smith

    Brian Smith is Barnett's national sales manager, and Barnett is a The Home Depot company.

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