A home is a great investment, and so you want it to be in an ideal location and have certain other amenities. Therefore when you have tried looking for the perfect home, and none of the places you have visited seem to grant you your preference, then you should consider going a different way, the off-market houses. However, landing an off-market home can be a bit tricky so here are a few strategies to help you find and buy one.
A mass mailing to homeowners
Ask for something, and it will be given to you. Also, seek, and you will find. This saying may seem a bit of a stretch when it comes to pursuing real estate, but it does work if you have the patience to do mass mailings to homeowners and wait for their positive feedback. If you have been looking for a house in a particular neighborhood and have not yet come across the “For Sale” sign, it is time to approach the homeowners through letters. Of course, you have to know that some will not even bother to open the mail and for those who do, only a few will respond. Still, it is worth the chance because you might land on a good deal.
However, even the way you phrase your letter will have a significant effect on the response percentage you get. Your mailings have to be very professional; you have to pass across the message that you are interested in the home without sounding desperate. Also, since this is a huge gamble, you need to keep your costs low so find a printing service that is cheap.
Use your contacts
If you have been in the real estate industry as an investor for a long time, you most probably have built a network of people in the same field. They could be past clients, buying agents with clients looking for a private sale, or selling agents seeking for an easy sale. On the other hand, if you have not been in real estate, you may not know anyone, and that is where real estate agents become useful. The commission you have to pay might tempt you to avoid real estate agents, but if you are looking for an off-market house, then a real estate agent will come in handy.
Such agents have information on the current properties, both the listed and unlisted. Besides, they have been into the industry for a long time meaning they have their contacts who will inform them of any homes for sale even before they are publicly advertised. By reaching out to a real estate agent, your chances of finding that off-market house will increase.
Look for signs of neglect in homes
Ever looked at a mother with four kids pulling at her dress and she stares at them blankly wondering what to do? Usually, such a parent is tired of her screaming toddlers and would use some help if only she could get it. On that note, take time off your busy schedule and drive around looking for houses that look like they are falling apart. A home that calls you from miles away with its signs of neglect also means that the owner is unable to take care of it and could use some help too. So, do your part and offer it but be careful in how you approach the homeowner.
Know the details of the home
If you have been seeking for a house and have found the perfect one, do your homework before asking the homeowner if they could consider selling it to you. For instance, a homeowner who bought the house a few years ago is not likely to sell because he is still enjoying the place. On the other hand, someone who listed his home for sale but then took it off before he could sell it is one who is most likely to be receptive. For you to find receptive sellers, you have to think like the homeowners and look for factors that would influence you into wanting to sell your property.
You can always look for information from local newspapers and government websites where you can find a property that is going to be auctioned. Also, you can talk to contractors and get to know who is unable to complete their projects so you can step in, save the day, and own the home. Additionally, real estate attorneys can be instrumental in informing you which houses will be up for sale in the future due to some legal issues.