Finding properties that aren’t publicly listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has never been easy. But if you’re able to locate such properties – they can become a trump card in your portfolio.
Off-market properties offer unique investment opportunities.
Since your competition most likely doesn’t know about them, there’s the potential for better negotiation terms and of course, BIG WINS.
What Are Off-Market Properties
Off-market properties are those properties that are not publicly listed on the MLS or made available through conventional marketing channels.
Essentially, these properties are not featured on real estate websites, in advertisements, or on any publicly accessible platform.
Instead, they are concealed from the general public and only accessible through more discreet methods.
But just because these properties aren’t showcased on traditional platforms doesn’t mean they are unavailable or not for sale.
In fact, off-market properties represent a significant segment of the real estate market. So, understanding their nature and how to find them can be advantageous for investors.
Why Do Sellers Keep Properties Off-Market
There are a few reasons that properties are kept off-market by sellers:
- Privacy: Some sellers, particularly high-profile sellers or those seeking discretion, prefer to keep their property sale private. They may not want their personal details and property information widely available to the public.
- Potential Savings: Sellers can save costs by not marketing, costs like listing fees and advertising costs. This can be especially appealing when they can find a buyer quickly.
- Price Testing: Sellers sometimes test the market privately before deciding whether to list their property. This allows them to gauge interest and receive initial offers before committing to a full listing.
- Motivated Parties: Off-market listings often attract more serious and motivated buyers and sellers. Those involved in off-market transactions are typically committed to making a deal and may prioritize efficiency over broader exposure.
Understanding the motivations behind off-market properties is crucial because it provides insight into why certain property owners choose this route. And, most importantly, how buyers can tap into this hidden market.
Now that we’ve explored why off-market properties exist, let’s learn how to find them.
How to Find Off-Market Properties for Sale
1. Inventive MLS Searches
Start by thinking outside the box when using your MLS.
Instead of focusing solely on newly listed properties, search for homes that have been on the market for extended periods, such as 60 or 90 days.
These properties may attract fewer buyers and could offer room for negotiation.
2. Geographical Expansion
Consider expanding your search area.
While you may have specific zip codes or neighborhoods in mind, exploring similar areas with more inventory can lead to off-market opportunities that align with your preferences.
3. Connect with Investors
Network with real estate investors who may be willing to sell properties they’ve acquired but haven’t listed yet.
Join the ever-active RELU community and network with some of the finest minds in real estate today.
4. Build Relationships with New Build Sales Reps
Sales representatives in new construction communities can provide insights into homes that are about to become available off-market.
They often know when a buyer has a home to sell before closing on a new one.
5. For Rent by Owners
Owners of single-family homes and duplexes who advertise their properties for rent can be open to selling.
Their direct contact information makes it easier to initiate discussions about a potential sale.
6. Assisted Living Housing Directors
Connect with housing intake directors in assisted living facilities. They often deal with seniors who sell their homes to cover care costs.
Becoming a liaison between the homeowner, director, and relevant services can lead to off-market opportunities.
7. Notice of Defaults (NODs)
Search for NODs in your target zip codes. These are properties facing foreclosure and can be motivated sellers willing to entertain off-market offers.
8. Tap into Your Database
Your existing clients and sphere of influence can be a valuable source of off-market opportunities.
Identify homeowners who might be open to selling, creating a shadow inventory of potential deals.
9. Call Homeowners
Reach out to homeowners in your target areas to gauge their interest in selling, even if they haven’t listed their properties yet.
There’s no harm in asking, and you might convince someone that’s teetering on the edge.
10. Look for Half-Done Flips
Keep an eye out for properties undergoing renovations or flips that are left incomplete.
These sellers might be open to selling the property as-is or with some work left to be done.
11. Condo or Apartment Conversions
Explore neighborhoods or buildings transitioning from rentals to resales.
These properties may not hit the MLS immediately, giving you a chance to secure them off-market.
12. Expired Listings
Listings that didn’t sell in the past might be available off-market now.
Offer a comparative market analysis (CMA) to showcase the property’s potential value.
13. For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) Listings
FSBO listings that have been on the market for a while could indicate motivated sellers.
Reach out to them and inquire about their willingness to negotiate off-market.
14. Absentee Owners
Access lists of absentee owners from sources like RE-InvestorList.com.
Contact them to discuss potential sales, offering a free CMA to assist in their decision-making.
15. Network with Real Estate Professionals
Build a network of real estate professionals, including wholesalers, contractors, and investors.
Attend local events and join online forums to nurture these relationships, increasing your chances of accessing off-market opportunities.
The Final Word On Off-Market Properties
Real estate is competitive. Any way you can get a leg up is definitely worth exploring.
Discovering off-market properties is a valuable skill – there’s no two ways about that.
They provide unique opportunities for negotiation and can give you the edge. So, we hope you explore these creative avenues and leverage the world of off-market potential in real estate.
And if you’re struggling to find homesellers, we recommend Fast Home Offer. They’re great at connecting buyers with motivated home sellers, and fast.