Real Estate Investor Guide: How to Find Off-Market Properties
When it comes to cracking the real estate market, exploring the unorthodox can get you a ton of rewards.
Considering the current economic situation, the real estate inventory is still on the lower end, even with a slow recovery from the year 2020 and a sharp drop of 39.6% on the national scale.
One of the great ways to stay ahead of your competition when it comes to real estate investment is to grab off market properties as soon as they pop up.
If you’re completely unfamiliar with the notion of off market properties, no worries. You’ve come to the right place.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of finding off market properties and why it can be a gold mine for your real estate investments.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Off Market Properties?
- 2 Why Bother Buying Off Market Properties?
- 3 How to Find Off Market Properties 101
- 4 Ready to Start the Hunt for an Off Market Deal?
What Are Off Market Properties?
Let’s start with the basics, before doing our deep dive into hunting down off market properties.
In the simplest of terms, off market real estate is a property that is up for sale, yet, it hasn’t been announced using the traditional means.
Specifically, it’s a property that wasn’t put on the MLS or equivalent platforms by the listing broker. This makes it tricky to even know that these properties exist in the first place.
Why Bother Buying Off Market Properties?
For all of its extra hassle, there are many benefits to investing in off market properties.
The main one would be the minimal competition. A traditional listing that’s offered on websites like Zillow, and other highly-trafficked platforms will have a high degree of visibility.
This will lead to a higher degree of competition, which can hike up the selling price.
On the other hand, when you buy an off market property, you won’t have to deal with a bidding war for the place. And, in most cases, you can get properties for really attractive price points.
How to Find Off Market Properties 101
There are many ways you can sniff out off market properties. Let’s explore each one at a time.
Start By Knowing the Process
Before you start your hunt for those properties, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the buying process.
This way, you can finalize the whole procedure as smoothly and quickly as possible. After all, the main goal is to have your deal do through.
The tricky part about buying an off market property is the high chance that the property agent is representing both you and the seller.
Of course, a dual sale is perfectly legal. However, it’s not the legalities that you should keep in mind. It’s whether you can trust the agent to work for your best interest.
It’s key to understand that the higher the sale price goes, the bigger the commission will be for the agent. So, you’ll want to keep in mind the conflict of interest.
Reach Out to Real Estate Agents
You’ll want to lean in on your networking skills when it comes to finding rare properties.
When you’re looking for an exclusive home in a specific neighborhood, you’ll want to reach out to the top real estate agents in the area, and see if they have any listings that they’ve put aside.
In short, the main expertise of wholesalers is real estate wholesaling. Basically, they’re experts at finding the right (and discounted) properties and setting up their contracts.
Then, it’s all about matchmaking the right buyer with the right property.
However, the process of finding buyers on the part of wholesalers can be a bit complex. This is why they use property leads for real estate wholesalers to find the right buyers.
Overall, you’ll want to keep in mind that once you’ve involved a wholesaler, you’re dealing with a middleman who’s helping you out, but will be taking a cut.
They’re of great help, especially when it comes to finding the right properties in the future, as they can call you if they found an appropriate property.
Sure, most people confuse non-MLS listings as hidden properties that you can’t possibly find online.
Yet, you’d be surprised to find a couple of online tools that can help you hunt down some listings that are For Sale by Owner (FSBO), or even on Craigslist.
All you need to do is keep your eyes peeled for anything relevant online.
Directly Approach Homeowners
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to check in with homeowners in the area you’re interested in.
You can start by sending out mailers or even personally going for a door-knocking campaign. This method might take you some time. However, you’d be surprised at how effective it can be at finding neglected properties that you can buy for peanuts.
This is a great option for you especially if you have a side budget for repairs. You might stumble on a homeowner who’s really desperate to sell. Thus, they would see getting an unsolicited offer as a gift.
Keep Your Ears to the Ground
Sometimes, there’s nothing more effective than learning about properties through word-of-mouth.
You’ll want to spread the word that you’re on the market for buying an off market property to all your family, friends, and acquaintances. Just don’t forget to leave your contact information, so that if they find something appropriate they would be able to reach you.
This is a way of building a real estate-based network of people who’ll remember you whenever they see an off market property.
Ready to Start the Hunt for an Off Market Deal?
We know how overwhelming it can be to start looking for off market properties, especially for those who are new to real estate investment.
Hopefully, our guide has shed some light on what those properties are, as well as how to find the right ones for your portfolio.
Just remember to always keep an eye out for those properties at all times. You’d be surprised at how interconnected things can be, even if it doesn’t relate directly to real estate.
If you liked our article, you’ll want to check out our real estate and home section for additional tips and advice.