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4 proven strategies for finding off-market inventory

Learning to find and create off-market listings can set you apart from other agencies

When there is a high demand for buyers in a low inventory market, learning to find and create off-market listings can set you apart from other agencies. “Off-market listings” or “quiet listings” are homes that are for sale but aren’t listed on multiple listing services (MLS).

My team and I have found certain tactics to be extremely helpful in generating leads and finding sellers who want to remain more low-key. Finding off-market homes requires agents to go above and beyond the normal measures.

By following these four strategies you will be able to create listings in a low-inventory market.

1. Open houses

Open houses are a great way for agents to network and connect with potential buyers. To maximize the success of an open house, agents often go door-to-door to gather contact information from residents in the area and recruit guests.

This strategy allows agents to break down defensive barriers with potential sellers and build personal relationships. By doing so, agents can discuss listing options with residents who may not have been actively looking to sell their home. 

This tried and true method has generated numerous listings from sellers who may not have listed without the agent’s input. So, if you’re an agent looking to expand your network and increase your chances of generating new listings, hosting open houses is a great strategy to consider.

2. Absentee owners 

“If I had a buyer for your house would you be willing to sell it?” This is the question agents should be asking absentee owners. Absentee owners can be an individual or group that owns a property without living in it or maintaining it day-to-day. This could be out-of-state owners, landowners using third party management or a gap tenancy, Commercial Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) or property owners on military duty.

By reaching out to absentee owners via postcard or phone and having a pre-approved, serious buyer with an offer lined up often has the power to change minds.

3. Approach owners

If your client has a specific home in mind that is not currently listed, don’t worry. There are still opportunities available. As an agent, you can take a proactive approach by visiting the specific home or neighborhood that fits your client’s budget and approaching the owners directly. This strategy is similar to the postcard method, but instead agents go door-to-door with a deal that is ready to be signed, sealed and delivered. 

By taking this approach, you can spark interest and potentially acquire the desired property for your client. Additionally, this method can also open doors for owners who may have been interested in selling their home but didn’t know where to start with the listing process. 

4. Probates

One final piece of advice for agents is to establish connections and build relationships with local attorneys who specialize in probate law. Probate is the legal process of determining the beneficiaries of one’s property in the case of someone’s death. In some instances, the deceased may not have left a will, which can add to the complexity of the situation.

By connecting with attorneys who assist families through the probate process, agents can provide valuable support and guidance to clients who may be looking to transfer or sell a home. 

This can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty that families may experience during this time. By establishing strong relationships with probate attorneys, agents can provide a higher level of service to their clients and build a reputation as a trusted and reliable resource in the community.

Real estate agents will quickly discover that the success of each method is largely dependent on how effectively it is executed. The key to making any approach work is thorough preparation. Whether you are connecting with potential sellers through door-knocking or an escrow list, agents must be equipped to answer any questions a seller may have. Additionally, it’s important to focus on one strategy at a time and master your approach.

By anticipating all possible scenarios and staying consistent, you’ll be well on your way to curating off-market inventory in no time

Jack Greenberg is a licensed broker and team lead with the Jack Greenberg Group at huntington & ellis, A Real Estate Agency in Southern Nevada.

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