Everything You Need To Know About Finding Off Market Properties For Sale

By: ROS Team

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There’s no question that finding off market properties for sale can be a huge advantage in the real estate market. By skipping the MLS, you can save time and money while avoiding competition from other buyers.

But where do you start? And how do you know if a property is really off market? In this blog post, we’ll give you everything you need to know about how to find off market properties.

What is Off Market Real Estate?

Off market real estate is a term used in the industry to describe properties that are not being openly advertised for sale. These properties may be privately owned, or they may be owned by a company that is not actively seeking buyers. In most cases, off market real estate is sold through negotiation with the owner rather than through a public auction or listing.

Benefits of Off Market Real Estate As A Seller

There are many benefits to acquiring off market real estate. Some of these benefits are economic, while others are psychological.

Some benefits of selling your property off market include:

  1. You can avoid the hassle and time commitment of listing your property with a real estate agent.
  2. You can negotiate a better price with potential buyers who are already interested in the property.
  3. You can maintain more control over the sale process since there is less public exposure.
  4. You can complete the sale more quickly since there is no need to wait for potential buyers to view the property.

Drawbacks of Off Market Real Estate As A Seller

While there are plenty of advantages of off market real estate, there are also some disadvantages, such as a smaller buyer market and valuation issues.

Other drawbacks of selling off-market real estate include:

  1. You may miss out on potential buyers who are only interested in properties that are on the market.
  2. It can be difficult to gauge the true value of your property without a competitive bidding process.
  3. There is a greater chance of ending up with a lower sales price than if you were to list your property publicly.
off market properties
Photo Credit: Elements Envato

Benefits Off Market Real Estate As A Buyer

The seller is not the only person who can benefit from having a home off market. There are a few key benefits that off market real estate offers to a buyer.

  1. The first benefit is that you have more control over the process. When you buy off market, you aren’t competing with other buyers, and you can negotiate directly with the seller. This allows you to get the best deal possible and avoid any bidding wars.
  2. Second, off-market deals are typically much less competitive. Since there are fewer buyers in the market, sellers are often more willing to negotiate on price and terms. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
  3. Finally, buying off-market allows you to avoid the hassle of dealing with brokers. You can cut out the middleman and save yourself some money in the process.

Drawbacks of Off Market Real Estate As A Buyer

  1. The main drawback of off market real estate is that it can be difficult to find. You may have to spend a lot of time searching for properties that are not being advertised publicly. This can be a time-consuming process, and you may not find what you are looking for.
  2. Additionally, off market deals may be less competitive, meaning you may not get the best price.

10 Quick Ways to Find Off Market Properties For Sale

If you’re like most people, you probably think of real estate as something that’s only for sale through a licensed agent. However, there are actually many ways to find properties that aren’t yet on the market.

Here are 10 Quick Tips for Finding Off Market Properties:

1) Join Investor’s Forum

Contact your local real estate board and inquire about membership in the “Investor’s Forum.” This is a special forum for members who are interested in finding off market properties.

Once you are a member of the Investor’s Forum, start networking with the other professionals in the group. There is likely to be a lot of information and opportunities shared among this group of people.

Get involved in the discussions and ask lots of questions. The more you participate, the more you will learn about how to find off market properties.

2) Network with Local Real Estate Professionals

Real estate professionals (such as agents, brokers, and appraisers) often know about off market properties that may be coming up for sale soon. They may also be able to help you find motivated sellers who are willing to sell their property at a discount.

3) Search Online Listings Sites Regularly

To search for off-market properties, you’ll need to be diligent and search online listings sites regularly. This will require setting up alerts and filters on websites like Craigslist, Zillow, and other similar websites. Since anyone can list a property for sale on these websites, it’s important to do your homework about any listing you are interested in. Make sure to research the property thoroughly and contact the agent or owner to get more information.

4) Contact Property Owners Directly

If you know of a property that you’d like to purchase but it’s not yet on the market, you can always contact the owner directly to see if they’d be willing to sell. In some cases, owners may be willing to sell their property at a discount if they don’t have to go through the hassle of listing it and dealing with showings and open houses.

5) Look for Properties with “For Sale by Owner” Signs

While most sellers who are trying to sell their property on their own will list it online or with a real estate agent, some may choose to simply put up a “for sale by owner” sign in their yard. If you see one of these signs, it’s worth contacting the seller to see if they’d be willing to sell their property off-market.

6) Check Expired and Cancelled Listings

There can be various reasons for a property to expire or be canceled. Some obvious reasons might be:

  • The property is no longer for sale
  • The property was sold
  • The property was pulled from the market
  • The property was listed in error


However, whatever the reason might be, it may be an indication that the owner is motivated to sell but is having difficulty finding a buyer. In these cases, it may be possible to negotiate a deal to purchase the property off-market.

7) Search Foreclosure Listings

Owners of properties that are in foreclosure are typically motivated to sell quickly, so they may be willing to sell their property at a discount. You can find foreclosure listings online or through your local county recorder’s office.

8) Look for Probate Properties

When a property owner dies, their heirs may be interested in selling the property quickly in order to settle the estate. These properties are often sold at a discount, so they can be a good opportunity for investors. You can search for probate properties through your local county courthouse or online.

9) Contact Motivated Sellers Directly

There are a number of reasons why someone might be motivated to sell their property quickly, such as a job transfer, divorce, or financial difficulties. You can find motivated sellers by searching online listings sites and contacting the sellers directly.

10) Work with a Real Estate Investment Firm

Real estate investment firms typically have access to a large inventory of off market properties. They can also help you negotiate a good price on the property and handle all of the paperwork involved in the transaction.

Off Market Properties vs. MLS – Which is Better?

There are pros and cons to both off-market properties and MLS listings. With off-market properties, you may have a better chance of negotiating a lower price, as there is less competition. However, you will need to do your own research to make sure the property is a good investment.

With MLS listings, you have access to all the information about the property, but you may face more competition from other buyers.

How Do You Know If A Property Is Really Off Market?

There is no certain way to know for sure if a property is truly off-market, but there are some things you can look for to help you make a determination.

One sign that a property may be off market is if it is not being actively marketed by the seller. Additionally, if the seller is not willing to provide you with information about the property or schedule a showing, this could also be an indication that it is off-market.

Finally, if you are able to find out information about the property from other sources (such as other real estate agents or the seller’s friends or family), this could also be a sign that it is not being actively marketed.

How to Approach Sellers About Off Market Properties?

The first step is to identify off market properties. This can be done by looking for For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and For Rent By Owner (FRBO) signs, contacting homeowners directly, or using a real estate agent who specializes in off-market properties.

Once you’ve identified some potential properties, the next step is to approach the sellers. This can be done in a number of ways, but a good way to start is by sending them an email or letter expressing your interest in their property. You can also call them or visit them in person.

When approaching sellers, it’s important to be polite and professional. Be sure to explain who you are, why you’re interested in their property, and what your plans are for it. If you have any questions, be sure to ask them.

Finally, be prepared to make an offer. If the seller is interested in selling, they may ask for your offer price. Be prepared to negotiate, but don’t go too low, or the seller may not be interested.

Is Buying/Selling Off Market Properties A Good Idea?

There is no definitive answer, as off market transactions come with their own set of pros and cons. On the one hand, buying or selling an off-market property can save you time and money, as it can be less expensive and more efficient than going through a traditional real estate transaction.

On the other hand, off market deals can be risky, as they can be more difficult to verify and complete. Ultimately, whether or not buying/selling off-market properties is a good idea depends on your individual circumstances.

Why Do Investors Want Off Market Properties?

One reason investors may want off-market properties is that they can potentially negotiate a better deal without competition from other buyers.

Furthermore, off market properties may have unique features or potential that make them particularly attractive to investors. Finally, purchasing an off-market property can also allow for more discretion and privacy during the buying process.

What Are The Challenges Of Off Market Properties?

Some of the challenges of off market properties include limited market exposure, difficulty finding buyers, and potential legal complications with private sales. Additionally, there may be a lack of reliable information or documentation on the property, making it harder to properly evaluate its value and potential for investment.

Why Are Properties Sold Off Market?

There are a few possible reasons why a property may be sold off market. One reason could be that the seller wants to keep the sale private for personal or business reasons.

Another reason could be that the seller is in a time crunch and wants to expedite the sale process without the added competition or publicity of a traditional market listing.

Additionally, the seller may have a pre-existing relationship with the buyer, such as through a referral or past business transaction, and therefore chooses to sell off-market.

Why Do Owners Sell Off Market Properties To Investors?

There are a variety of reasons why owners may choose to sell their property off-market to investors.  These could include wanting a quick and easy transaction, privacy concerns, avoiding paying commissions to real estate agents, or targeting a specific type of buyer. Additionally, selling off-market may allow the owner to negotiate for a higher price due to limited competition.

What Is A Pocket Listing In Real Estate?

A pocket listing in real estate is a property that is listed with a real estate agent but is not added to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is only shared with a small, select group of buyers.

Why Would A Seller Keep A Property Off Market?

One potential reason a seller may choose to keep a property off the market is if they are not in a hurry to sell and want to avoid excessive interest and competition, potentially driving up the price.

They may also want to avoid attracting attention from individuals who may not be serious or qualified buyers. Additionally, the seller may want to maintain privacy and discretion, particularly if the property is high-value or unique.