Real Estate Marketing Ideas

How to Find Off-Market Properties

By Meaghan Loraas Last Updated December 1, 2021 3 min read

When it comes to buying or selling a property, most people think that the only way to do so is by putting it on the market. However, there are other ways to find buyers and sellers – and off-market properties can be an excellent way for real estate agents to find new leads or for buyers and sellers to connect discreetly.

What is an off-market property?

An off-market property is simply a property that isn’t listed for sale publicly on the local multiple listing service (MLS).  These types of properties are not available to the public for purchase or sale, hence how they get the name “off-market.” 

How do real estate agents find off-market properties?

Real estate agents can help find clients who may have an off-market property. Often, sellers will put their house on the market but then remove it if an offer is made. This leaves them with a gap between when they first listed the property and when the seller accepts an offer – which is how many sellers end up selling an off-market property by accident!

Tips for Finding Off-Market Properties

Since off-market properties aren’t typically publicized on the MLS, it can be challenging for buyers and potential sellers to connect without an intermediary real estate agent. This is why both agents’ networks can come in handy when finding these types of property listings. Using a local real estate agent network, you can often find new leads at no extra cost.

  1. Keep an eye out for properties that have been taken down from the MLS – this is often a sign that the seller is looking for a discreet sale.
  2. If you are a seller’s agent, be sure to reach out to other local agents and ask them to keep an eye out for potential buyers.   
  3. If you represent prospective buyers, be sure to communicate with your clients about how discreet they want to be.
  4. Look for rental properties that have been vacant for a while. If a real estate investor or property owner has a hard time filling vacancies, their rental income will pale in comparison to the sale price of their property.
  5. Distressed properties for sale are also a good mark for off-market real estate. Contact the property owner and come prepared with a presentation, primarily if you work in hot markets. You can market fixer-uppers as investment opportunities to real estate investors.
  6. Keep an eye out for homes that are pre-foreclosures. You may be able to entice the property owner to sell. Another great place to search for off-market properties is vacant properties managed by a property management company.
  7. Invest in direct mail marketing. You can send postcards directly to property owners, whether it’s a multifamily property, residential property, or commercial property. Let them know what sort of market opportunity they have in your local real estate market. 
off market luxury properties
Luxury properties are also an opportunity for an off-market sale.

Get an Off-Market Real Estate Deal

There are many benefits for sellers and buyers when it comes to off-market properties. Sellers can avoid the stress of waiting for their property to sell, and buyers can avoid paying higher prices. Considering how volatile the real estate market has been throughout the country over the last few years, getting any off-market deals can save your buyers a lot of money off of the purchase price.

Off-market homes can be challenging to find. That is why your real estate marketing strategy must include methods to increase referrals. Off-market sales of a commercial property or investment property can be lucrative real estate deals!

Do I have to put my house on the market?

Many real estate agents suggest listing your property on the MLS to maximize exposure. However, there are some advantages of selling an off-market property. The most significant benefit is avoiding how much time it can take for your real estate listing to sell when publicly listed on the MLS. While you may end up giving away some profit by not having a bidding war (or multiple bidders), you will avoid months of waiting. You can make it happen in a much shorter time frame! Whether you’re looking for off-market listings for investors or first-time home buyers, these tips should help you locate a property for sale in your market. 

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