How Real Estate Investors Can Find Off-Market Properties
By Chad Keller, real estate investor and founder of Motivated Leads.
Off-market properties, also known as pocket listings or whisper listings, refer to properties that are not actively being marketed for sale. These properties may not be listed on the Multiple Listing Service or advertised through traditional marketing channels such as online listings or yard signs. As a result, off-market properties can be challenging to find, but they can also present a unique opportunity for real estate investors.
Here are some strategies that real estate investors can use to find off-market properties:
One of the most effective ways to find off-market properties is through networking with other real estate professionals, such as agents, brokers and investors. These individuals may have access to properties that are not publicly listed, or they may be able to connect you with owners who are considering selling their property but have not yet listed it on the market.
2. Direct Mail Marketing
Another strategy is to use direct mail marketing to reach out to potential sellers. This can include sending postcards or letters to owners in a specific area or targeting a particular type of property, such as fixer-uppers or probate properties.
3. Digital Marketing
Use targeted advertising to reach specific audiences that may be interested in off-market properties. For example, you could use Facebook Ads to target people who are interested in moving companies or credit repair.
4. Driving For Dollars
Driving for dollars involves physically driving through neighborhoods and looking for properties that may be in need of repair or have been abandoned. Investors can then reach out to the owner or seek out the owner’s contact information through public records to inquire about the property.
5. Real Estate Agents
Working with a real estate agent who is familiar with the local market can also be helpful in finding off-market properties. An agent may have access to pocket listings or be able to connect with owners who are considering selling but have not yet listed their property.
6. Real Estate Events And Conferences
Attending real estate events and conferences can be a great way to meet other professionals in the industry and learn about off-market properties. These events may include educational seminars, networking events or trade shows, and they can provide an opportunity to connect with agents, brokers and other investors who may have access to off-market properties.
7. Online Databases
There are several online databases that provide information on off-market properties. These databases may require a subscription fee, but they can be useful resources for finding properties that are not listed on the MLS. Some examples of online databases include RealtyTrac and PropertyRadar.
8. Other Investors
Partnering with other investors can also be an effective way to find off-market properties. By pooling resources and knowledge, investors can increase their chances of finding a property that is not publicly listed.
9. Probate Agents
When a homeowner passes away, their property may not be immediately put on the market. Working with an agent who specializes in probate sales can help you find these off-market properties.
10. Auction Sales
Some properties may be sold at auction, either because they are in foreclosure or because the owner is looking to sell quickly. Attending auction sales can help you find off-market properties. Using Auction.com will allow you to search for off-market properties that are being sold directly by the owner.
11. Real Estate Wholesalers
A wholesaler is a person who finds discounted properties and then assigns the contract to another investor, who then buys the property.
Once you have identified an off-market property that you are interested in, it is important to do your due diligence and research the property thoroughly. This may include reviewing public records, inspecting the property and obtaining a professional appraisal or evaluation. Additionally, it is important to negotiate a fair price for the property and ensure that all necessary contracts and agreements are in place before finalizing the deal.
While finding off-market properties can be challenging, they can also present a unique opportunity for real estate investors. By using the strategies outlined above and being persistent in your search, you can increase your chances of finding them.