Calculating Your Maximum Allowable Offer On Your Next Investment Property

September 22, 2023

Investing in real estate can be a lucrative endeavor, but it’s essential to make informed decisions to ensure your profitability and minimize risks. One crucial aspect of real estate investing is determining your Maximum Allowable Offer (MAO) for a potential investment property. MAO is the highest price you can pay for a property while still achieving your desired profit margin. In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps to calculate your MAO effectively.

1. Understand Your Investment Goals

Before diving into the calculation, it’s crucial to define your investment goals clearly. Determine how much profit you aim to make from the property and what return on investment (ROI) you want to achieve. Your goals will guide the entire MAO calculation process.

2. Estimate the After-Repair Value (ARV)

The After-Repair Value (ARV) is the estimated value of the property after it has been renovated or improved. To calculate the ARV, research recent sales of similar properties in the area. Ensure that these comparables are as close as possible to the property you’re considering. This will give you a realistic idea of the property’s post-renovation value. Being able to accurately assess the ARV of a property is a crucial skill for any investor and can make or break the success of your project.

3. Account for Repair and Renovation Costs

Next, you’ll need to estimate the costs associated with repairing and renovating the property to bring it up to the ARV. Work closely with contractors or construction experts to create a detailed budget. Include all necessary repairs, materials, labor, and any unexpected contingencies. Additionally, there are some great books on the subject matter that we highly recommend!

4. Calculate Your Desired Profit Margin

This is where investors can really get it wrong – determining the profit margin you want to achieve from the investment. This margin should account for your financial goals, the level of risk you’re comfortable with, and market conditions. A common profit margin is 10-20% of the property’s ARV, but this can vary based on your specific objectives. Remember: if your margins are a small percentage of the value (even if it might be a larger dollar amount like on a high dollar project), that could easily be wiped away by a minor market swing. Make sure to build enough room into your margins to protect against this.

5. Account for Holding and Transaction Costs

Don’t forget to factor in fixed costs such as property taxes, insurance, utilities, and any loan interest if you’re financing the purchase. Additionally, consider transaction costs like realtor fees or closing costs when selling the property. These expenses can significantly impact your final profit.

6. Calculate Your Maximum Allowable Offer (MAO)

With all the above information in hand, you can now calculate your MAO using the following formula:

MAO = ARV – Repair Costs – Desired Profit Margin – Holding Costs – Transaction Costs

By plugging in the values you’ve researched and determined, you’ll arrive at your MAO. This is the maximum amount you can offer for the property to achieve your desired profit while covering all expenses.

7. Always Leave Room for Negotiation and Contingencies

Keep in mind that the MAO is your initial offer, and negotiations with the seller may lead to adjustments. Additionally, it’s wise to have contingencies in place for unexpected costs or delays during the renovation process. Building flexibility into your calculations is crucial for a successful investment.

In Conclusion

Calculating your Maximum Allowable Offer (MAO) is a critical step in the real estate investment process. It ensures that you make informed decisions, stay within your desired profit margin, and minimize financial risks.

In an upcoming release, Wholster makes calculating your offers easy with it’s built in MAO calculator. By carefully considering all relevant factors and following the steps outlined in this post, you can approach your next offer with confidence and increase your chances of success in the real estate market.