Many buyers interested in purchasing a home search real estate listing readily online or work alongside with a preferred real estate agent. That may be most common and popular strategy many people use to find their forever home or investment property, there is another type of real estate many might have disregarded.
Finding “off-market” properties can uncover multiple listings that you may not have discovered in the first place. There are a number of sellers who choose to list their properties in this manner for a variety of reasons. Prospective buyers can take advantage of this. Here is a closer inspection of off-market houses and why you may want to search for them during the buying process.
First and foremost, the expression “off-market” has two definitions:
- Property that is for sale.
- Property that is for sale but not listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), one of the largest databases of for-sale properties.
In the second option, an off-market listing can also be called a “pocket listing.”
Certain sellers wish to keep their privacy when selling their property, or they want to save money by paying a lower commission amount or other costs. Furthermore, they may also be relying on an agent or broker to find them suitable buyers instead of the buyers finding them.
For buyers, there’s a multitude of benefits in purchasing an “off-market” home such as discovering homes that many won’t find or bid for. You can also better your chances of scoring a nice deal on these properties because the commission of the agent (if there’s one involved) is much lower and you are not competing against other prospective buyers. You might even have more time to negotiate pricing and terms on the home because some off-market sellers are usually not in a rush to sell.
To locate off-market listings, search for and contact real estate agents or brokers who sell property specifically in the communities you are looking into. They might possibly have knowledge of off-market homes in the area. You can also search for non-MLS-listing websites (ForSaleByOwner.com and BuyOwner.com), local sites such as Nextdoor, and newspaper classifieds. There’s also an option to approach the homeowners directly; homes that are clearly in need of maintenance or repair may have owners who are interested in selling. Once you’ve located a home you want, you will need to write up a real estate contract with the agent or the buyer. The following infographic created by Teifke Real Estate provides more information about how off-market listings may provide further real estate opportunities.