24 May 2017

Mark Zawaideh

How to Buy a Home That's Not for Sale


off-market-homeA red-hot housing market can be discouraging for buyers. Homes a buyer is interested in may go on sale in the morning and be snatched up by the afternoon. To get an edge on the competition, consider going to resources that other buyers may not think of: houses not currently being offered for sale. Should buyers look at homes that are not for sale? How is it done? There are times when this is a good strategy that can land buyers with a home that others may miss.

Learn About the Local Market

Following the housing market in the local area can give buyers more information about how hard it is to buy a home. If a buyer is looking for a specific type of home or one in a specific area, they may find that a housing search can take a year or more.

Buying more quickly using standard options may mean settling for a home that is not what you wanted. Those who want to speed up the process can improve their odds by expanding the search into different kinds of homes.

Check Expired Listings

A real estate agent will have access to older MLS listings that may have expired months or years ago. Maybe the seller had trouble selling and decided to take the house off the market to wait for better circumstances. Maybe they got cold feet and decided to stay in the area after all.

No matter what the reasons, they may be willing to sell when offered a good price for their homes. Have a real estate agent pen a letter of interest and see what happens.

Drive Around the Desired Neighborhood

If a buyer has a specific area in mind, they should go for regular drives in the area. Write down the addresses of homes that seem likely. Ones that appear to be unoccupied can sometimes be good finds. The home is still owned by someone, often someone who does not wish to or cannot currently live in the home. In some cases, an elderly relative is now deceased or has moved to an assisted living facility. In others, the owner has had to move for work or family but did not first sell the home. A real estate agent can help track down the owners to express interest in the home.

Use the Internet to Help

Sites like Zillow and Trulia often have detailed information about a house that can't be found just by driving by. It's possible to look up information like the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and past selling prices of the home to guide the offer.

Don't Be Afraid of Rejection

According to MarketWatch, nine out of ten homeowners who are approached about their not-for-sale home will say no. As a result, it may take many offers to find a taker. However, CNBC says that one in five homes sold by a seller who does not have a seller's agent was not listed at the time of sale. It may take several rejections to find the right seller, but there are enough people willing to sell to make it worthwhile.

In highly competitive markets, the buyers who are most flexible and resourceful are often the ones who find what they want. Consider making offers on these properties to increase your chances of finding a home that fits your wants and your needs.

Topics: Buyer Tips & Mortgage News