Investing in real estate is different from stocks or mutual funds in that there are many more aspects to purchasing, holding and selling compared to paper assets. It therefore comes as no surprise that educating one self in all matters of real estate investing is much more necessary. Many times you will see someone come from another city or even country and try to promote their system of purchasing property. The prices of these weekend or even four day courses can range from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Some seminars are even as high as $35,000!
The question then becomes how much should one pay for this secret information or what they claim is secret. I have seen many successful investors start off by purchasing books, networking with other investors and spending up to $500 for two fulls days of training. This is adequate to start off on your first few properties. Anything beyond this is where you can expect to spend $5000 for courses but only after numerous transactions have occurred and you have a fair bit of experience and know what you want.
The most important telling sign of a scam at a seminar is if they have properties at the back for all of the attendees. They rarely work for the purchaser. That is not education but rather a way to make someone else wealthy.