HOW TO FIND OFF-MARKET HOMES FOR SALE | EXPERT TIPS
It’s becoming increasingly difficult every day to find the perfect house for home buyers because of the housing shortage. Inventory is so low at the time of writing this, that buyers are tearing each other apart and sellers are getting multiple offers within minutes of going on the market. But what are some creative ways to find the perfect house that no one else can? Watch the video and keep on reading for a more in depth look.
TERMINATED & EXPIRED LISTINGS
When things get tough in a low inventory market, it’s time to pull out all of the creative approaches to finding a home. This is where terminated listings and expired listings can help out a home buyer in today’s market. A terminated listing is when a homeowner and agent have decided to remove the listing from the market for various reasons. An expired listing happens when the house did not sell for whatever reason and the listing agreement with that agent expired. Even some of the best houses don’t sell the first time around. It happens. Maybe the market was different then.
But how does this help you? Well, the agent you hire has access to this information. You know the location where you want to buy a home right? So have your agent, whether it’s us or someone else, pull the data in that area. You can even go back years in the past if you want to! The idea here is to see what didn’t sell back then and pick the ones you’re interested in. After you come up with a list, your agent will then make contact with the homeowners to see if they would be interested in selling their house again.
If the owner doesn’t have to go through the whole process of listing again, they may be up for it. This is a great way to find a house. Especially in a super low inventory market.
FOR SALE BY OWNER
Finding a house listed by owner is another avenue to explore. But tread with caution. Most FSBO’s we normally come across are asking way more than their property is worth. Which is probably why only 7% of all homes sold nationwide were sold by owner (according to NAR). Most end up listing with a Realtor, but if you can catch a FSBO that’s priced correctly or even below market value it could be worth your while.
COMING SOON & AGENT SPHERE
Working with a Houston real estate agent has its perks. Our MLS has a ‘Coming Soon’ status that’s not available for the public to view. So if there is a coming soon in the area you are looking in, your agent should know about it.
And don’t underestimate an agents sphere. An established agent more than likely has connections with other agents and can ask around what they all have coming up in the area. Maybe their seller doesn’t want to go on the market and prefers to sell privately. Who knows, but at least you can get ahead of the game.
WHOLESALERS & INVESTORS
These guys work with off market properties all the time. Your agent should have contacts in the investing world and be able to see what properties these guys have under contract ready to sell. Keep in mind though, most of the houses they have will need some work. As they normally sell to investors who like to flip houses. Speaking of house flippers, they may be nearing the end of a project so it’s worth pursuing if they would consider a private sell.
Another avenue to explore are investors who buy and hold; Landlords. If the tenants lease is about to expire they may be interested in selling to free up some capital. Worth a shot!
DIRECT OWNER CONTACT
If you have narrowed down your search to a specific neighborhood, drive around and note any potential homes you would be interested in looking at. Save the addresses and give them to your agent. They will be able to track down the owners and make contact with them. This method is less effective than others, but desperate times calls for desperate measures!
NARROWED DOWN TO ONE NEIGHBORHOOD
If you have narrowed your search to one neighborhood this a great way to find any potential sellers that aren’t on the market yet. No need to drive around like the last method. Your Realtor can simply write a letter explaining your needs and criteria and send it off to every house in the subdivision. You would be surprised how many people may call back! And all it really takes is one seller to match you up with.
Low inventory is a tough market for a buyer and can be extremely frustrating. Use some of these unorthodox methods to help your search. Who you hire also matters… so make sure the agent you decide to hire, if it’s our team or someone else, puts in the same effort you do. We hope this article and video gave you some awesome tips to work with. Reach out to our team if you have any questions and share this article with someone you think it could help too!