Best Exit Strategies For Real Estate

Top 10 Best Exit Strategies For Real Estate

flipping houses real estate investing strategies wholesale real estate Aug 11, 2023

Investing in real estate has developed a reputation for building significant wealth. Few asset classes, for that matter, can award investors with the same level of earnings potential as the housing sector.

It is worth noting, however, that even within the real estate investing industry, there are several different exit strategies—each with its own unique income-generating capabilities. As a result, aspiring investors must carefully consider all the real estate exit strategies available and choose the ones that best suit their goals.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 best exit strategies for real estate investors to help them make informed decisions and navigate the ever-changing market landscape. In doing so, we’ll be sure to cover each of the following in detail:

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What Is A Business Exit Strategy?

A business exit strategy is a predetermined plan entrepreneurs formulate to sell or transfer ownership of their company or assets strategically. It serves as a roadmap to navigate the process of exiting the business, ensuring a smooth transition and allowing business owners to capitalize on gains or minimize potential losses.

An exit strategy is crucial for any industry because it provides a clear direction for decision-making and helps align business goals with long-term financial objectives. By proactively considering various exit options, business owners can safeguard their investments, maximize returns, and make the best decisions for their particular interests, regardless of the industry's challenges and fluctuations.


What Is A Real Estate Exit Strategy?

A business exit strategy in the context of real estate investing refers to a well-thought-out plan formulated by investors to either sell or transfer ownership of a property for maximum profit or to mitigate potential losses. It serves as a roadmap for real estate entrepreneurs, guiding their decisions and actions throughout their careers.

Investors have various options at their disposal, such as flipping, wholesaling, or opting for long-term rental income. The optimal exit strategy will depend on factors like the property's size, market conditions, the investor's financial objectives, and their desired timeline.

A well-crafted exit strategy serves as an end goal and a guiding force, directing investors toward successful real estate ventures. Understanding the different types of exit strategies and when to employ them can empower real estate investors to maximize profits and make informed financial decisions.


Top 10 Real Estate Exit Strategies

Becoming a successful investor involves more than just acquiring properties; having a solid exit strategy is equally essential. As a result, we’ve developed this list to explore the top 10 real estate exit strategies that savvy investors employ to optimize profits and mitigate risk:

  1. Acquiring Real Estate Owned (REO) Homes
  2. Buying & Holding Real Estate
  3. Executing Lease Options
  4. Flipping
  5. Passing Assets To Heirs
  6. Prehabbing
  7. Speculating On Land
  8. Traditional Ownership
  9. Using Seller Financing
  10. Wholesaling

To be clear, one exit strategy for investors isn’t enough. For investors to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way, they will need to learn the ten best exit strategies for real estate investors.

top 10 real estate exit strategies


Acquiring REO Homes

By acquiring REOs from banks, investors can flip homes purchased at significant discounts and increase their profit margins. REO properties are homes that banks have acquired through foreclosure after failed attempts to sell at auction. Since banks are not in the business of holding non-performing assets, they are often motivated to sell these properties quickly, which can present an excellent opportunity for savvy investors.

Due to their urgency to offload REO properties, banks may be willing to sell them for less than their actual market value; this allows investors to purchase properties at a discounted price, increasing the chances of a profitable flip. By conducting thorough research, negotiating effectively with banks, and understanding the local real estate market, investors can identify undervalued REO properties, renovate them strategically, and execute a successful exit strategy by reselling at a higher price.

Buying & Holding Real Estate

Investors can employ the buy-and-hold real estate exit strategy to achieve consistent cash flow through rental properties. The key is to purchase homes at a favorable price, ideally using the BRRRR strategy (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat). With BRRRR, investors can secure undervalued properties, renovate them to increase their value, and then rent them out to tenants for steady monthly payments. The period of time the asset is used as a rental property can translate to monthly cash flow capable of making mortgage payments.

With a cash-out refinance, investors can recover their initial investment and use it to fund subsequent deals, building a sustainable portfolio that generates long-term cash flow and potential appreciation. The buy-and-hold strategy provides financial stability and wealth accumulation through passive income streams. This strategy requires property management skills, or the property owner can hire a property manager.

Read Also: The BRRRR Method: Free Calculator, Formula, & Strategy

Executing Lease Options

Lease options or rent-to-own strategies offer a lucrative exit plan for real estate investors, benefiting buyers and sellers. As the buyer, investors can secure an investment property with a lease option, giving them the right to purchase it at a predetermined price within a specified period. During the lease term, they can improve their credit or save for a down payment.

On the other side, sellers can generate income through higher rent payments, a non-refundable option fee, and potential appreciation if the property's value increases. This approach allows investors to generate cash flow from rental income while having the opportunity to profit from the property's future appreciation.


A popular exit strategy real estate investors prefer is flipping. Otherwise known as rehabbing, flipping houses is a popular real estate exit strategy that involves three main stages for investors to generate profits. The first step is buying a property below market value, often adhering to the Maximum Allowable Offer (MAO) using the 70% rule, which considers the property's after-repair value (ARV) and repair costs. While it can work on commercial real estate, it’s typically reserved for single-family homes.

Next, investors focus on rehabbing the property, renovating it to increase its value and appeal to potential buyers. Lastly, investors sell the property at an optimized price, aiming to profit significantly from the initial purchase price and renovation costs. Successful flipping requires market knowledge, careful planning, and efficient execution to maximize returns.

Passing Assets To Heirs

Investors can secure their legacy and save money for future generations by implementing the right estate business plan for their real estate assets. Setting up a trust, for example, can be a highly effective strategy to minimize capital gains taxes and ensure a smooth transfer of wealth to heirs.

Investors can avoid probate, which can be costly and time-consuming if they transfer their assets and capital to heirs through the correct vehicle. Moreover, trusts offer flexibility in distributing assets, allowing investors to designate how and when their heirs will receive the property, protecting it from potential creditors, and preserving family wealth for generations to come. Proper estate planning is crucial for investors to safeguard their assets and is just as important as the investments themselves.


The prehabbing real estate exit strategy is a less-involved variation of rehabbing, ideal for investors looking to generate quick profits without extensive renovation work. In this strategy, investors make minor cosmetic improvements and repairs to enhance the property's appeal.

The goal is to create a visually appealing property that attracts potential buyers or tenants without requiring major renovations. By minimizing the time and expenses, investors can swiftly flip the property for a profitable exit, making it an attractive option for those seeking a more straightforward and faster real estate investment approach.

Speculating On Land

Investing in raw land offers investors unique optionality and potential for profits. Unlike developed properties, vacant land provides a blank canvas, allowing investors to choose between various exit strategies.

One option is to hold the land for future development, capitalizing on the area's growth and increasing its value over time. Alternatively, investors can flip the raw land quickly, selling it for a profit to developers or buyers seeking a specific location.

This flexibility in potential uses allows investors to adapt their strategy based on market conditions, making raw land a lucrative and versatile addition to their real estate portfolio.

Read Also: Wholesaling Land: A Guide To Vacant Land Investing

Traditional Ownership

Owning and living in a home can be an effective investment strategy for individuals. Homeowners can make upgrades and improvements by residing in the property, potentially increasing its value over time. They can later choose to sell the home for a profit, capitalizing on the appreciation gained through the improvements made.

While appreciation isn't guaranteed, historical data shows that real estate tends to appreciate over the long term; this makes homeownership a relatively safe investment, and even if the property is not sold, homeowners can still benefit from the equity they build over the years.

Using Seller Financing

Seller financing is a creative and profitable real estate exit strategy for investors. In this arrangement, the seller acts as the lender and finances the purchase for the buyer (investor). This strategy benefits both parties; the seller receives regular income from the agreed-upon interest rate, and the buyer avoids the stringent requirements of traditional financing.

By leveraging seller financing, investors can acquire properties with minimal upfront capital, allowing them to invest in more opportunities and maximize their returns. Additionally, this approach opens doors to negotiations, securing favorable terms and creating a win-win situation for both the buyer and seller.


The exit strategy real estate investors tend to break into the industry with is wholesaling. Wholesaling is a lucrative real estate exit strategy allowing investors to make money without owning the property. Wholesalers act as intermediaries, finding distressed or undervalued properties and entering into contracts with motivated sellers. They then assign these contracts to other investors, earning a fee for facilitating the deal.

This mutually beneficial arrangement allows wholesalers to generate profits without significant capital or holding costs. By identifying great deals and effectively marketing them to potential buyers, wholesalers can create a thriving real estate business and build valuable connections within the industry.

Check out our in-depth video on how to wholesale step by step in 21 days or less!


Why Is Having An Exit Strategy Important For Real Estate?

A well-defined real estate exit strategy is paramount for investors, as it guides their decisions throughout a deal and dictates how they can maximize profitability. Each scenario should be evaluated with the end goal in mind, understanding how to profit from every investment before even meeting with a prospective seller.

Neglecting to consider an exit strategy can increase risks, reduce potential profits, and hinder the ability to negotiate from a position of power. By familiarizing themselves with various exit strategies, investors can save significant money over their careers and ensure a smooth and profitable transition from property ownership to resale.


How To Choose The Right Exit Strategy

how to choose the right exit strategy in real estate

Choosing the right real estate exit strategy that aligns with an investor's specific goals and financial aspirations requires a thoughtful approach and consideration of several factors:

  • Define Your Objectives: Investors should first clarify their investment objectives. Are they seeking short-term profits through quick property flips, long-term cash flow through rental properties, or potential tax benefits from a 1031 exchange? Understanding their goals will help narrow down suitable exit strategies.
  • Assess Risk Tolerance: Each exit strategy comes with its own level of risk. Some may involve higher upfront costs or extended holding periods, while others offer quicker returns with more significant market fluctuations. Investors should evaluate their risk tolerance and choose a strategy that aligns with their comfort level.
  • Analyze Market Conditions: The real estate market's current state can significantly impact the success of different exit strategies. Analyze local market trends, demand and supply dynamics, and economic indicators to identify which strategies will likely thrive in the given conditions.
  • Consider Property Type: Different exit strategies may suit specific property types. For example, fix-and-flip strategies work well for distressed properties, while long-term rentals are better suited for stable, income-generating assets. Consider the property's condition and potential use when choosing an exit strategy.
  • Evaluate Time Horizon: Investors should clearly understand their desired investment timeframe. Some strategies, like wholesaling or fix-and-flip, offer quicker returns, while buy-and-hold strategies require a longer investment horizon.
  • Review Financial Resources: Each exit strategy may require different levels of financial resources. Investors should assess their available capital and financing options to determine which strategies are feasible within their budget.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consulting with experienced real estate professionals, such as real estate agents, real estate brokers, or investment advisors, can provide valuable insights and help investors make informed decisions based on their unique circumstances.
  • Diversify Your Portfolio: Building a diversified real estate portfolio with multiple exit strategies can help mitigate risk and optimize returns. Having a mix of short-term and long-term investments can provide stability and flexibility.

By carefully considering these factors and conducting thorough research, investors can better choose the real estate exit strategy that best suits their individual needs and maximizes their chances of success in the ever-changing real estate landscape.

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Real Estate Exit Strategy Mistakes To Avoid

Here are some real estate exit strategy mistakes that new investors must avoid and how they can be avoided:

  • Lack of Planning: One of the biggest mistakes is failing to have a well-crafted strategy before purchasing a property. Investors should thoroughly analyze their investment goals, market conditions, and financial capabilities to avoid future complications. A clear plan will prevent impulsive decisions and increase the chances of a successful exit.
  • Overestimating Profit Potential: New investors may fall into the trap of overestimating the potential profits from their chosen exit strategy. To avoid this, they should conduct thorough market research, consult with experienced real estate professionals, and accurately assess the property's condition and market demand. Realistic profit projections will lead to better decision-making and risk management.
  • Ignoring Market Trends: Failing to consider current market trends and future projections can lead to poor timing for an exit. New investors should stay updated on market conditions, such as supply and demand, interest rates, and economic indicators. Awareness of market shifts allows them to time their exits strategically to maximize returns.
  • Not Diversifying Exit Strategies: Relying solely on one exit strategy can be risky, especially if market conditions change unexpectedly. New investors should diversify their real estate portfolio by incorporating multiple exit strategies. Having different options ensures flexibility and resilience in various market scenarios.
  • Underestimating Holding Costs: Holding costs, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance expenses, can quickly eat into profits if not adequately accounted for. New investors should calculate potential holding costs before investing and incorporate them into their financial projections to avoid this mistake.
  • Overextending Finances: Taking on too much debt or investing all available funds into a single property can lead to financial strain and limit future investment opportunities. New investors should avoid overextending their finances and maintain a sufficient cash reserve to handle unforeseen circumstances.
  • Neglecting Due Diligence: Rushing into a deal requires conducting proper due diligence to avoid unforeseen issues and costly surprises. New investors should thoroughly inspect the property, review title records, and perform a comprehensive market analysis. Diligence will help uncover potential risks and ensure informed decision-making.
  • Ignoring Exit Contingencies: New investors must include exit contingencies in their purchase agreements to protect themselves from unexpected situations that could hinder their exit strategy. These contingencies may include inspection clauses, financing clauses, and specific timelines for executing the exit plan.
  • Emotional Decision-making: Allowing emotions to drive investment decisions can cloud judgment and lead to poor choices. New investors should stay disciplined and focus on data-driven analysis rather than being swayed by sentiment or external pressures.

Read Also: Home Appreciation Calculator: How To Estimate Your Home Value


Final Thoughts

Having a well-defined exit strategy is crucial for real estate investors to navigate the complexities of the market and ensure maximum returns. By carefully considering the abovementioned factors, investors can choose the right exit strategy that aligns with their needs and aspirations.

Each exit strategy offers unique advantages and challenges, making it essential for investors to stay informed and adaptable. Whether wholesaling or flipping, a well-thought-out exit plan will minimize losses and open doors to new opportunities in the real estate industry.

Are you ready to take the first step into real estate investing? Don't go it alone! Contact Real Estate Skills today and let our team of experts guide you on your journey to becoming a successful real estate investor. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting, we offer personalized strategies and support to help you achieve your goals.

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