To buy a house that is not on the market, you have to be prepared to make lots of effort. House stalking is no easy feat, but it’s way easier with real estate professionals.
You will end up with a house if you practice the things we discuss below. Eager home shoppers are more likely to get their dream home! With our guide, learn how to buy a home that’s off-the-market right now.
1. Get the Details, Contact the Homeowner
What better way to know if getting your dream house is even possible than by directly asking the owner?
First, try to know the reason why the house isn’t on the market. There’s a possibility that property’s been listed in the past, but it was withdrawn or expired. Maybe the owner had a change of plans. Perhaps the owner deliberately avoids putting it up on the market because they don’t like too much attention. To get clarification, you can either get a real estate agent to communicate with the owner or send a letter yourself.
It’s time to send that letter that might change everything. It doesn’t need to be a literary masterpiece- you can go as simple as you like, by stating your name and your intentions, or you could include your home search story and how much you love seeing their home to add some personality. Some people are so desperate that they go about making an offer.
You can “sell yourself” too by mentioning how good your gardening and housekeeping abilities are or how much you love the neighborhood. Sometimes they’ll be compelled to leave their house to someone responsible enough – if they’re willing to sell the house.
If you aren’t too caught up on that specific home, asking them for personal recommendations also helps.
You don’t even have to write a letter if you don’t want to – a phone call works. But the advantage of a message is the homeowner can read it anytime they deem convenient.
2. Get Ready for Rejection
This is unpopular advice, but it’s appropriate for a home buyer: it’s better to expect the worst outcome from this situation than to get your hopes up for nothing. At least if you get mentally prepared for rejection, and the bad news arrives, you had something to soften the blow. But when the outcome is pleasant, and you get your dream home, it’s a win!
The best way to go about this is to put yourself in the homeowner’s shoes: if you were a happy homeowner who gets approached by a random person that wants to take your dear house from you, you have every right to reject their wishes. Sometimes there’s more to life than money, so no matter how good your offer is, you can’t persuade the owner to sell their house to you if they’re keeping it for sentimental reasons.
In some cases, a real estate agent can make the rejection feel less personal and more business-like.
Another thing to keep in mind is never to make an offer that you will regret later to persuade the owner to give up home ownership. If you do that, you’ll end up financially destroyed and possibly without a house.
You always want to be ready to move on and keep looking for another home if things don’t work out. Go to lots of open houses, try Make Me Move. As sad as it sounds, sometimes you need to accept that you can’t have everything you want.
Have a real estate agent check canceled, expired, withdrawn listings
A skilled real estate agent can make all the difference in your off-the-market home buying experience.
They can do the tedious task of research and negotiation for you. Instead of you having to do all the work of writing letters, making phone calls, finding a home, and approaching homeowners, you can leave it to them.
Realtors are also experts in checking for canceled, expired and withdrawn listings. These professionals have connections with other agents that can find off-the-market or upcoming for-sale homes. The National Association of Realtors have a great strategy to expand your home-searching horizon.
Make inquiries for other options
For sure, there are still so many options out there that aren’t on the housing market. The best way to uncover them one by one is to do your research by exploring the web or asking your friends and family for recommendations. You might be surprised what dream houses you’ll find even on Facebook.
Real estate listing websites like Zillow and Trulia let potential buyers set alerts on any address. It doesn’t matter if these property addresses are listed or not. The website, Zillow, posts homes that are pre-foreclosed by RealtyTrac. Meanwhile, sites such as realtor.com give out foreclosure listings to those interested. These websites also feature properties where the homeowners missed their mortgage payments, so said properties are still up for grabs even though they aren’t technically for sale.
It’s always nice to find homes that are still off the multiple-listing services (MLS) or public real estate sites since you don’t have to participate in bidding wars.
As always, there’s a good and bad side to everything. That seemingly perfect house you see on the street may not be so flawless on the inside. It’s important not to be deceived by looks alone when you want to buy a home! Research and home inspection are both important. You might find out that the reason that home is off the market is because of a mold problem or floors prone to rot.
Buying a home that is not on the market is a slow and difficult process, and that’s okay. With the help of real estate agents and your drive to research and keep looking for options, you’ll get your dream home.
Keep in mind that your personal finance should lead the decision-making since home-buying is a long-term commitment. You should still be reasonable and not be swayed by the beauty of a house.