What Are Off Market Properties?
Off market properties, or pocket listings, are properties that are off the market. These properties are not public. This means that the investment properties are not publicly advertised through an MLS, Multiple Listing Service, or a real estate agent.
Why would sellers prefer to have off market properties, you may ask? The reasons may vary. Sometimes the seller simply has not advertised the real estate property publicly. Sometimes the seller wants the selling process to be more private, leading to a quicker sale and possibly more interest in the property. Another reason is that the property is in pre-foreclosure. Whatever the reason, off market properties are great deals to find.
Why Bother with Off Market Properties?
What makes off market properties such great deals if it’s a hassle just to find them? One reason, as mentioned earlier, is that the sales become quicker. Selling could take quite a chunk of time. Why not opt for a quick way to buy an investment property?
While a quick sell is appealing, the main reason off market properties are great deals is less competition. For starters, the real estate property is not seen in public by all investors, giving the investors that see it an advantage. This is especially true in hot markets, where finding properties may not be very easy.
With that being said, what are the ways to find off market properties?
Ways to Find Off Market Properties
Most real estate investors turn to websites, like Mashvisor, to find rental properties. The properties listed on these websites are public properties. Some websites, however, are able to find off market properties. Take Zillow as an example. The site allows sellers and agents to advertise a real estate property thirty days before it is listed on the MLS. These properties are considered off market properties. Another site that lists off market properties is Zenlist.
Using websites is probably the easiest way to find off market properties. Because it’s easy to access such sites, however, the impact of competition is still largely there. If you want to find off market properties with less competition, you should consider different methods.
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Real Estate Agents
Finding local off market properties that aren’t listed online will give you a competitive edge over other real estate investors. One way to find off market properties with little competition is to contact real estate agents. A good place to start is to find a neighborhood you are interested in investing in. Then, contact real estate agents in the neighborhood. These agents have their own off market properties or are aware of some in the area. Contact real estate agents through email or by phone. Some real estate agents even have their own websites. Sometimes, they list their pocket listings on the site.
Direct marketing is another way to find pocket listings. You can send a direct mail or postcards to home sellers saying that you’re interested in buying investment properties. You could even advertise in a newspaper saying that you are interested in purchasing real estte properties. This could incentivize sellers who haven’t publicly listed their properties to contact you.
Networking is a great way to find any kind of rental property, not just off market properties. You can’t network with just anyone when looking for off market properties, though. There are three types of people you should network when searching for pocket listings: contractors, real estate attorneys, and wholesalers.
One of your best bets for finding off market properties is through contractors. Local contractors tend to be aware of real estate opportunities in an area, as they are constantly in touch with people in the business. Sometimes they can directly lead you to pocket listings in the local area.
Also consider networking with wholesalers. Wholesalers buy contracts of real estate properties, then assign the properties to an interested seller within a few days. This is a great way to find pocket listings. The only downside is that you may not always be in direct contact with the seller through this method.
Finally, networking with real estate attorneys is another great way to find pocket listings. Attorneys tend to have issues or creditors that they want to pay off, making them valuable sources of pocket listings. Network with real estate attorneys as they could help you find future pocket listings.
Examining public records could also lead you to off market properties. Local newspapers and state government websites sometimes mention real estate properties that will be selling soon. Newspapers can also mention different expired listings. You could contact the seller of the expired listing and strike a good deal, especially if the seller is desperate to get rid of the rental property. Public records can also help you find foreclosed properties which can be purchased.
Word of Mouth
Sometimes, the best way to find things is through word of mouth. This is also true when wanting to buy an income property. Be familiar with ordinary people in an area and let them know that you’re interested in off market properties. They may know of such opportunities and be willing to help.
Simply looking around an area can reveal off market properties. You could find newly foreclosed homes, or sellers who have not advertised their real estate property publicly yet. Either way, it’s worth a shot.
Finding off market income properties is not very easy, but it is definitely very worth it. Pocket listings oftentimes uncover hidden rental opportunities, and these properties give you a competitive edge over other real estate investors. With less competition, better deals, and quicker sales, purchasing off market properties is a great way for experienced investors to earn more rental income.
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