Whenever an affordable opportunity for real estate investors comes on the market, you can expect to be one of many competitors making an offer.
Right now, inventory of existing homes is low. The scarcity of affordable homes makes competition fierce, requiring deep pockets and quick wits to obtain an investment property from multiple bids. Thankfully, there is a quieter secondary market that offers an alternative supply of affordable homes.
By expanding your search to include off-market real estate deals, you can find more rental properties and single-family homes to flip than ever before.
While tracking down these investment opportunities can take time, there are a few helpful strategies you can use. By networking with real estate professionals and exercising a bit of old-fashioned hustle, you can find some off-market properties to increase your bottom line.
Where are all the off-market real estate deals?
The following methods for finding off-market deals can give you a general starting point to find idea properties to rent or flip.
This is one of the most significant advantages an investor can get by working with a real estate agent. These homes aren’t on the market, but the owner wants to sell them. Since you won’t find them among MLS listings, there will be far less competition.
Temporarily Off Market + Expired Listings
Real estate agents can also search for homes that are temporarily off-market or expired. While representing you, they can call the agent of the expired or “temp-off” listing to find out if the client is interested in putting the home back on the market. This could be an opportunity to gain another pocket listing.
- Note: Calling the selling agent the day after a home’s listing period expires is a favorite strategy for investor’s agents looking for a good off-market deal.
For Sale by Owner (FSBO)
Drive around neighborhoods to look for homes sold directly by property owners. These homes may be “fixer-uppers,” or the owner may not want to work with a brokerage. If the property is in not-so-great condition, you can make a fair offer that the homeowner accepts. This process can be a hassle, but you may score an excellent off-market sale.
These off-market homes are often estates left to accidental landlords. Sometimes, these homes have been abandoned for a long time and need significant repairs. Or, they may be recently unoccupied and won’t take much work to turn into a rental property. If the current owner doesn’t want to manage the home, you can make them an all-cash offer that takes the responsibility off their hands.
Wholesaling can give you an easy ticket to skip the bidding wars. Wholesalers will sell you the right to assume a sales contract to make you the official buyer of a property. It’s best to do cash offers here since you typically have a fixed closing date. Wholesaler houses are sold as-is, so be prepared for some rehab.
Finding wholesalers can be somewhat of a challenge. Good ones are hard to come by, so other investors may not be willing to spill the beans. However, you can potentially find wholesalers of your own through the following:
- Online searches for wholesalers (social media, craigslist, etc.)
- Real estate investor meetups in which wholesalers may also attend
- Word of mouth
- Signs around town that say, “We buy houses.”
Coming Soon Listings
While not a “pure” off-market deal, the MLS will inform agents about properties soon to be on the market. Agents may also email each other upcoming listings to see if another agent has the ideal buyer for the property. Motivated sellers of these homes may take the offer your agent sends over! If this happens, then there is no need for their agent to put it on-market.
Grow your network.
Never underestimate the power of marketing. As you accumulate leads and professional contacts, you can stay on top of mind through email campaigns, social media, direct mail marketing, and in-person networking. This allows you to stay connected with dependable sources of off-market homes and motivated buyers.
Find Off-Market Real Estate Deals
Finding an off-market property can take time and effort. However, these methods can help make this process easier. If you would like the guidance of an experienced brokerage specializing in helping investors, look no further than Marketplace Homes.
Alicia Persson is the official in-house content writer for Marketplace Homes. She has several years of experience working in real estate teams that specialized in investments and property management. Before she joined MH, she was a freelance writer for 7 years, providing real estate and home living content for boutique digital marketing agencies.
She is a proud University of Virginia Masters graduate and enjoyed her undergraduate years at the University of Mary Washington. When she is not writing, she is playing keyboard in a local 90’s band in central Virginia or spending time with her amazing family.