Real estate agents, who are successful, know that getting listings is the life energy of their business. It is boring to sit around waiting for a new client to call. It is expensive to spend extraordinary amounts of money on general advertising to get listings. Clever real estate people learn how to find properties for sale before they are listed.
Value Of Unlisted Properties
Real estate agents and investors have a competitive advantage when they find properties for sale that are not listed. These off-market properties may be available at a better price. There may have little or no other competition from other potential buyers making an offer. Real estate agents can motivate buyers to move quickly to close a deal on an unlisted property before it goes on the market.
Finding Off-Market Properties
Here are five ways to find properties before they are listed:
1. Check Tax Records
Sometimes it is as simple as looking up the current owner in the tax records, making a contact, and giving an offer. That direct approach may work well as long as enough contacts are made to improve the odds of finding a motivated seller.
2. Maintain Contact With Past Buyers
Real estate agents should always stay in contact with past buyers of a property that they sold. On the anniversary of the sale date, send a nice postcard with a handwritten note that says something like “I remembered this was the date you bought your home (or building). If you ever want to sell it, give me a call.”
Another technique is in-person networking with people. Join professional associations, mingle with people, and learn what neighborhood they live in. Tell them someone is thinking of moving there and ask them if they might be considering selling their home or if they know someone who is.
4. Friendly Neighborhood Scouting
Become known in a neighborhood as a buyer. When an investor likes a neighborhood, a terrific strategy is to wander around, knock on doors, and hand out business cards.
People hate someone knocking on the door who is trying to sell them something. However, they usually have a very positive reaction when someone wants to buy the home. There is no need to be shy. Walk around a neighborhood, get to know it better, and the people who live there.
5. Title Companies And Real Estate Departments Of Banks
Make friends with the staff at title companies. Get to know the people working at banks in the real estate department that handles the short sales and foreclosures. These two groups are very strong sources for off-market deals.
The staff of title companies knows when a sale fails at the last moment due to loan funding issues. Bank staff knows when new foreclosures come in before they list for resale. By moving fast, an investor takes advantage of the short gaps between the time these properties are available for sale and when they get listed.
Learning how to find off-market properties creates many benefits. Investment opportunities expand for real estate investors and real estate agents create more listings for themselves with these proactive strategies. Think of this as a treasure hunt and it actually can be a lot of fun.