3 Ways to Find Off-Market Properties

I attended a broker’s open yesterday and was talking to another agent about having buyers ready to purchase if the right house comes along.  The problem? Low Inventory!  Not enough choices!  To illustrate, Sterling saw 16% fewer listings in 2017 compared to 2016.  Now, do I tell my clients to sit and wait until something comes on the market?  No way! I push up my sleeves and see if I can find something off-market.

Here are three ways I help buyers find off-market properties:

  1. Talk to homeowners. I talk to homeowners every single day for a variety of reasons. Let me give you an example. I door knock the neighborhood for each of my listings prior to going on the market.  It’s part of my pre-marketing program called “Pick Your Neighbor” where I ask homeowners if they know anyone who might be interested in their neighbor’s house.  I also ask if they have any intention of selling their home.  Not surprisingly, most people tell me that they are not planning to sell in the immediate future, but many do say that a move will happen at some point.  I stay in touch with these future sellers and keep them in mind if the right buyer comes along in the meantime.  I spoke to two such owners last week when I was out pre-marketing for an upcoming listing in Reston.
  2. Write letters. When I’m working with buyers who have narrowed their search criteria in a certain area then I will identify off-market homes that could be a good fit for them. I go into the tax records and mail to the owners.  In the letter, I ask if they would consider selling and request a showing.  I recently worked with buyers who loved a specific building in Arlington.  They wanted a condo that was at least 2,000 sq. ft. and only smaller units had come to market.  You guessed it!  I mailed directly to the owners and we were in for a showing two weeks later.
  3. Talk with other local realtors. I already mentioned brokers opens and the opportunity to talk to agents while previewing.  There is also an active community of agents in online forums.  For instance, one private Facebook group I belong to has over 2,400 agents licensed and working in Northern Virginia.  Every Wednesday agents list buyer needs to find upcoming listings.  This thread is very active, to say the least.  Similar “Buyer Need” requests can be found on the other private realtor groups I’m also a member of.

Buyers – Let me put these strategies to work and help you find your new home!

On the fence sellers – Listen to me when I tell you buyers are out there, they just don’t want to buy for the sake of buying. Call me for a complimentary consultation to get an estimate of what your home is worth in today’s market.

Kristen is a realtor in Sterling, VA.  She especially loves helping first-time homebuyers and clients juggling selling and buying a home simultaneously. Kristen has a knack for working with clients with young children – they always make the process more exciting!

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