Eric Nerhood of Premier Property Buyers: “Knowing your limits”

The first thing to know is making sure you have enough money to do it. Few flippers have the cash to buy houses without a loan. The financing costs can be as much as 3 to 10 percent of the cost of the home. Many lenders will not work with inexperienced flippers. They will want […]

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The first thing to know is making sure you have enough money to do it. Few flippers have the cash to buy houses without a loan. The financing costs can be as much as 3 to 10 percent of the cost of the home. Many lenders will not work with inexperienced flippers. They will want to see that you have a successful track record of selling at least one home for a profit. Others will work with an inexperienced flipper but will charge higher fees and interest.

Shows like Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines have really glamorized the creativity and enjoyment that comes with buying a rundown home, fixing it, and then selling it for a profit. Some amateurs have ventured into this industry and have made a lucrative career out of it. But others, particularly when a market is stagnant, have lost their shirts. As a part of my series about the ‘5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Successful Career Buying, Rehabbing, and Selling Properties’, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Nerhood

Eric is a real estate investor and co-founder of Premier Property Buyers, a real estate investment company that provides solutions to distressed homeowners in Southern California. He is also a licensed real estate appraiser and licensed realtor in the state of California. He began flipping houses in 2010 and can’t think of job he would rather do.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?

I began my antics in the world of real estate as a residential appraiser. I would occasionally be called upon to do an appraisal on properties that had been flipped. I became intrigued with how these investors could buy and sell these properties in such a short time but with a great profit. Out of curiosity, I started watching house flipping shows on television and reading all of the material I could find. The more knowledge I garnered, the more I knew that house flipping was for me but I was filled with self-doubt to begin an unknown career with a family to support. So, I put flipping on the back burner and stuck with my tried-and-true job. Fate, on the other hand, had a different job in mind for me. My first daughter Sophia was born with a heart defect and later diagnosed with autism. Not only did I have our regular bills to handle, but Sophia needed more care than the average child and this care would only get more costly as the years went by. To give Sophia her best shot at a meaningful life, my wife and I began drowning in medical bills for treatments and therapies. I realized that I had to do something drastic to support my family and with self-doubt and fear poking at me from all sides, we decided to take the plunge. We founded Premier Property Buyers and I’ve never looked back.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

Amusing? How about heart stopping frightening? In January of 2020, I was contacted by a gentleman about a house he needed to sell. Every time I asked to meet, I was met with an excuse that he lived out of the area so I dismissed it. Our contact was only through text messages which was a red flag. Additionally, when it finally came time for me to view the house, he had someone leave the side door open for me but nobody was going to meet me in person. I went to view the dilapidated property, with the side door open as he said, and decided on my offer. I emailed him my offer, it was accepted, and we opened up escrow and closed within 7 days. Since the house was outside of the area that I flip houses in, I decided to resell it to an investment company for a nice profit. The day after the sale closed, I received a frantic call from the investment company that there is a man at the property stating he was the owner and he didn’t sell the property or sign any documents. Needless to say, my mouth dropped. The investor thought this man had a slight reality problem as the property had been sold to him the day before. The man instructed the investor to leave his property. While those two were arguing this out, I called the escrow company. After explaining this debacle to them and requesting that they email a copy of the grant deed to the investor to show the man that he was a liar, I waited by my phone to make sure this was straightened out. The phone rings but it’s not the investor. It’s the escrow company stating that the grant deed used to sell the house to me was fraudulent. They contacted the notary that supposedly signed off on the grant deed but she had lost her stamp a long time before and wasn’t working as a notary anymore. The escrow company didn’t use their in-house notary and didn’t bother to check to see if the notary was current in her commission before the closing. Seems that the man at the house was the actual owner. Title Insurance took care of getting both my money and the Investor’s money back but I will never close without all the questions being answered again. I had done my due diligence prior to purchasing the property, but the escrow company dropped the ball. I had to deal with detectives and police reports but I learned a valuable lesson. If the seller is unable to meet with me in person than I need to confirm I’m dealing with the actual seller. One fraudulent conveyance is one too many.

Do you have a favorite “life lesson quote”? Can you share a story or example of how that was relevant to you in your life?

The best life lesson that anyone can learn is “You can’t fail until you stop trying.” No one is perfect every time. If you make a mistake, just pick yourself up and move forward. It took Thomas Edison 999 tries before he invented the light bulb. Dr. Seuss was rejected 27 times before his first book was bought and published. I keep going forward no matter what. I can only fail if I stop moving forward, and I have obligations I have to meet so stopping is not an option.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We’re looking into trying to raise awareness toward the congenital heart defect community. Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect in the United States and worldwide. 1 in 100 people are diagnosed with CHD and nearly 40,000 babies will be born with CHD in the U.S. this year. We are planning to donate a portion of profit from every sale to conquering CHD which is a non-profit organization. This organization was founded in 2013 and is known as “the voice of the congenital heart patient and family.” It is an online resource for awareness, community, knowledge, and research. My daughter Sophia was born with a CHD called Tetralogy of Fallot and she endured two open heart surgeries with more planned in her near future. It was very difficult to see her go through the surgeries in addition to the long and emotionally exhausting hospital stays. If we help even one family get through their hard time then our mission is accomplished.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

My company’s philosophy is based on honesty and integrity. We treat people with respect and understanding because that is how we would want to be treated. We firmly believe that a person in distress needs someone that can help and not someone that will take advantage of the situation. We want people to count on us to look out for their best interest. At the end of the day, my goal is for people to look back and be thankful they worked with us because we made a big event in their life smooth and easy. I want the loyalty that comes from helping people, so they will recommend their relatives and friends to work with us. There is no better advertisement than word of mouth.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I will always be grateful to and humbled in the presence of my daughter, Sophia. Let me explain. I knew I wanted to flip houses for a living but I was too afraid to take a chance on something unproven to me. I always wondered about the houses on the house flipping television shows. Was it really that easy to do and make a living at it? My cautious nature wouldn’t allow me to just take the jump into the unknown. When Sophia was born, I became enchanted with this little person and when the doctors kept diagnosing her with different issues that were going to be a lifelong part of our lives, I had to man up and do what I needed to do to care for her. So, I took the leap and never looked back. Would I have done it without Sophia being born with all the issues she had? I may have, but probably a lot later than I did, if at all. I wouldn’t be here without her push. And I will be forever grateful to her.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Absolutely, honesty first. I was a business leader prior to flipping houses. As an appraiser, it was my job to give people an honest opinion of the value of their house. Maybe it wasn’t as high as they thought it should be, but it was for a market value of their type of home at the time of the appraisal. People could take my appraisals to the bank, so to speak.

Another important trait that has been pertinent to my success is consistency. To be successful in real estate, you need to show up every day. There will be failures and frustrations along the way but the person who practices consistency will win every time. You don’t necessarily have to be great; you just have to be consistent.

My third trait is integrity. I stand by every house I flip. Once I sell that home to a buyer, they can be rest assured that no corners were cut, the house is in top condition and everything is ready for them to move in. In this day and age where dishonesty is a common occurrence, I can sleep well at night knowing I did the best job that I could.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry? If you can please share a story or example.

The first thing is freedom. With the flexible work hours and the opportunity to be my own boss, the real estate industry offers true freedom. One of the greatest advantages of having a career in real estate is that you can decide how to spend your time. Following your own work and personal schedule is one of the most prized benefits of a real estate career. Since you are your own boss, you have the flexibility to complete tasks when it suits you. This is great for maintaining a good work-life balance, especially if you have a family. In this industry it’s not bosses and board members who determine your career advancement, it’s your personal commitment to investing in yourself. This puts you in total control of your career and success.

The second is the number of dilapidated houses I see driving through neighborhoods. My sense of imagination and design of creating something wonderful from something that was one step from demolition. I am happiest buying the worst house and making it shine again. Every house that I flip is my new passion project. I love going in and envisioning the changes to be made that will maximize the potential of a property. I feel that beautifying a home increases the neighborhoods desirability and betters the community as a whole.

The third reason is, and I hate to sound greedy, the money. I’d be lying if I didn’t say the money was great. The earning potential is unlimited. And the ability to work on my schedule. Freedom to do what you love and get paid for it. What more can I ask for?

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest? Please share stories or examples if possible.

I realize that the real estate business has to keep up with the times and Millennials and Gen Z’ers are the next generations to buy homes, but nothing sells a house better than a good old fashioned open house. Yes, computers and drones have made looking at homes easier. People can browse homes in their living rooms while in their pajamas, but many times a person needs to see what is there and experience the space to know what they want. Many times, a home’s potential is overlooked because it didn’t photograph well. I know I’ve been surprised many times about how I felt when I visited a home I thought was just ok online. Agents are in the business to make money, but we’re also in the business of making connections with people to their family homes. That’s an important job and no better way to make connections than to meet face-to-face rather than depend upon Wi-Fi signals and virtual tours.

The second concern that I have is the over-pricing of homes. People are naturally sentimental about their homes. When they look to sell, their bias sometimes effects their objectivity about the homes actual value in the market. In their eyes the home is Buckingham Palace, but to the rest of the world it’s just a ranch, or a colonial. My advice is to try and be objective and realistic when putting a price on your home. Consult any of the online sales sites like, Zillow,, or Trulia, which show the number of days on the market. The higher the days, the more likely you’re looking at a case of inflated price. If you want to sell, show people you mean it and price accordingly.

And finally, my greatest concern is the bigotry and steering going on in real estate circles. In my opinion, a realtor needs to work for the benefit of their client, not the client’s neighborhood and a buyer’s agent needs to do the same. Show people what they want to see and not what you think they need. If someone wants to buy in a certain neighborhood, that is their right.

What advice would you give to other real estate leaders to help their teams to thrive and to create a really fantastic work culture?

Positive thinking will create a fantastic work culture. Maintaining a positive company culture is a guaranteed way to boost morale. People will naturally feel happier and enjoy their work more when they work in a positive environment. Negativity can quickly sour an entire workplace. Remove people who provide distraction and negative attitudes. Even when things seem to be at their lowest, positive thinking will eventually cultivate positive outcomes. Surrounding yourself with people who think positively all the time and want to see each other succeed will take your business to the next level.

Ok, wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you please share with our readers your “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Successful Career Buying, Rehabbing, and Selling Properties”? If you can, please give a story or an example for each?

The first thing to know is making sure you have enough money to do it. Few flippers have the cash to buy houses without a loan. The financing costs can be as much as 3 to 10 percent of the cost of the home. Many lenders will not work with inexperienced flippers. They will want to see that you have a successful track record of selling at least one home for a profit. Others will work with an inexperienced flipper but will charge higher fees and interest.

The second thing is to always include a contingency amount towards your rehab budget. A contingency is used to cover estimating errors, omissions or any unforeseen conditions on the project that can result in change orders and cost overages. I recommend building in a 10 percent contingency factor to cover unforeseen issues. You should always hope for the best, but make sure to prepare for the worst as well.

The third thing is knowing your limits. Many people choose to fix and flip houses with the idea that they’re going to do some of the work themselves. While that’s a great way to save money, it’s also an excellent way to get in over your head. Make sure you know your limits and don’t be afraid to delegate. Having a solid team of professionals to help will make it easier to get your house ready to go back on the market.

The fourth thing is to give yourself enough lead time in case problems should arise. Items get back ordered and shipments get delayed, weather might not cooperate every day. Permits, inspectors, surveyors and government officials all take time and must be done during the normal working hours of the municipality. Be prepared to change your production schedule and always be prepared to change your completion date.

The fifth thing is to have patience. Rarely do flips go as planned so anticipate hiccups along the way. One of the hardest things for all investors is having patience. Flipping is a long, involved, and difficult process — and you need patience if you’re going to succeed. A property isn’t flipped overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day, why should your project be different?

What are the most common mistakes you have seen other people make when they try their own hand at house flipping? Can you share any stories?

The most common mistake I see new flippers make is underestimating expenses. A significant amount of risk can be created with simple cost projection errors. Making mistakes in estimating rehab costs can lead to financial disaster. New flippers are often unaware that your rehab will almost always cost more and take longer than you think. Most house flipping shows show investors making a lot of money in a very short period of time. The problem with most house flipping shows is they make the process look much more profitable than it actually is because they often forget to mention the following costs:

Selling costs: You have to pay real estate agents, escrow fees, title fees, transfer taxes, recording fees, and other costs on the houses you sell.

Holding costs: While you own the house, you have to pay property taxes, insurance, HOA dues, utilities, and possible maintenance costs (Gardeners and pool service).

Financing costs: Few flippers have the cash to buy houses without a loan, especially if they are doing multiple deals at once. The financing costs can be as much as 3 to 10 percent of the cost of the home.

Buying costs: When you buy a house, you have to pay for the inspection, closing fees, recording fees and more.

House flipping can be an exciting and an emotional experience, especially for your first couple of deals. Don’t let the excitement cause you to make financial mistakes flipping houses.

From your experience, what can be done to avoid those errors?

When you’re estimating rehab costs on a house flip be careful, be prepared, and get help from an experienced flipper or contractor if there are unknown costs. If you are trying to estimate the costs without any experience and without help from a contractor, it can be a disaster. When determining whether a deal is profitable or not, you will want to factor in a detailed list of all expenses and always include a 10% contingency for unexpected costs. It’s always better to estimate your repairs higher than lower. Stick to the plan and always have someone you can turn to for a trusted second opinion. Once you know how much things cost and how long they will take, you will be able to estimate deals more accurately. This, like everything else, will come with experience.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am a strong advocate for equal rights and accesses for all handicapped people. In my opinion, if children are exposed early and often to those who are different, whether it be in appearance or ability, they would grow in their tolerance and expand their perception of “normal” or “able.” They perhaps would become more curious about what others, who don’t look, act, or think like them, can bring to the table, rather than operating based upon preconceived prejudices or assumptions.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can follow our work online at or on social media.


Instagram: @premierpropertybuyers

Facebook: Premier Property Buyers CA

Twitter: @PremierBuyersCA

LinkedIn: Premier Property Buyers

Thank you for your time, and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.

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