3 Creative Ways to Find, Buy, or Sell Off-Market Deals

by | BiggerPockets.com

The Denver market has exploded over the past few years. Properties listed for three times my annual income are going for $30,000 above asking price to cash buyers. There’s no way I can compete with that! Or can I? (Hint: I can.)

I’ve found deals through various off-market means—in an otherwise very competitive area—without heavy marketing and sometimes without spending any money on marketing. Heck, I just listed a condo in this area and may even have a condo sold off-market in the next few weeks! Here’s a short rundown of how I’ve utilized creative means and little effort to make deals happen.

3 Creative Ways to Find, Buy, or Sell Off-Market Deals

1. Tell people you’re an investor.

And don’t only tell other investors. I had a neighbor ask me to buy his place after I simply told people that I buy houses. The sale resulted in a win-win situation where he saved a lot of money on agent commissions, and I got myself a highly profitable rental property!

There are plenty of legal offices that are happy to handle contracts to buy and sell real estate for a fee of $500. That’s a steal for a seller compared with nearly 3 percent of the sale in most markets (and 6 percent total if they’re using a real estate agent).

Related: 4 Ways to Find and Buy Off-Market Houses

Additionally, I’ve purchased properties from friends of friends who have shared their company’s information or listings on social media. It was that easy!

Not only will neighbors of investment units possibly call on you, but I’ve had friends ask me to purchase their properties, and friends of friends have been referred to me to provide a rental or ask me if I had vacancies. It’s pretty neat once the word is out there.

Business people shaking hands, finishing up meeting. Successful businessmen handshaking after good deal.

2. Communicate with the professional community.

A great way to get or sell off-market deals is through property management companies. Most of the time, they reserve the right to act as the agent if they previously managed the property. Want to get off-market deals? Ask them for first looks on the types of properties you’re hoping to buy. You can do this without representation (if you’re comfortable) and make yourself even more appealing to sellers by saving them commission. Tell agents, property management companies, or wholesalers what you’re looking for and ask for first looks before their listings hit the market. Property management companies are great because they can automatically send you past repair requests and rental history on prospective properties.

Related: 6 Insider Hacks for Finding Profitable Off-Market Real Estate Deals

Are you a prospective seller? Awesome! If you want to sell by yourself, a great way to get people to come to you is to work exclusively with a real estate company. I went directly to Redfin with a listing (they take 1% commission instead of 2.8%) and told them what I had for sale. Then I gave them the listing and photos with a description of amenities. In the listing, I mentioned that I was considering purchases with a starting sale price of $125K. Redfin came to me with buyers.

3. Make offers on marketed rentals.

Sometimes a place is listed for rent and for sale on Zillow, or sometimes it’s just listed for rent. It doesn’t hurt to ping the owner or management company to ask if they’re open to selling the property they have listed. I personally haven’t done this, but I know many people who have. It’s effective. When my place was for sale, it was also up for rent at the same time so that my options were open.

Conclusion

Ultimately, there are many creative ways to win in an otherwise competitive market. I’ve used these to save myself and others money and time.

What tactics have you used? Any of the above something you’ll try?

Leave a comment below!

About Author

Sarah P.

A longtime writer and consumer of all things related to the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement, Sarah went from working 50+ hours a week to less than 20 thanks to her real estate investment portfolio and side passion projects. Investing since 2015, she reached financial independence in 2016 and was able to retire in 2017. Articles about her journey and information about her current projects have been published in LinkedIn, BiggerPockets, Kiplinger, and many other financial news sources. Prior to the FIRE movement, Sarah worked as a Program and Acquisitions Manager on various projects and started a successful, world-renowned non-profit organization. Today, she uses these skills as a real estate consultant to help others reach their FIRE-related goals on a regular basis.

5 Comments

  1. Rob Cook

    Good points and strategies! I love it. As a past-real estate agent, we used to say to new and aspiring agents “Don’t be a secret agent.” Which was a tongue in cheek way of saying LET EVERYONE KNOW you are in business and what you do. Very simple, smart and effective. Taking a pro-active role is key to success in almost anything, and finding investment properties is no different. It is, indeed, a people business.

  2. John Murray

    You hit the nail on the head I constantly receive mailings to sell my rentals when I list them. I have been flipping a few when I have the chance and they are like vultures, Open Door and a number of others cruise around and find my projects. Then a quick look at the county records and off go the mailings.

Leave A Reply

Pair a profile with your post!

Create a Free Account

Or,


Log In Here