How to Make an Offer on a Property Not Listed on the MLS

How to Make an Offer on a Property Not Listed on the MLS

2 min read
Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and podcaster. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has taught millions of people how to find, finance, and manage real estate investments.

Brandon began buying rental properties and flipping houses at the age of 21. He started with a single family home, where he rented out the bedrooms, but quickly moved on to a duplex, where he lived in half and rented out the other half.

From there, Brandon began buying both single family and multifamily rental properties, as well as fix and flipping single family homes in Washington state. Later, he expanded to larger apartments and mobile home parks across the country.

Today, Brandon is the managing member at Open Door Capital, where he raises money to purchase and turn around large mobile home parks and apartment complexes. He owns nearly 300 units across four states.

In addition to real estate investing experience, Brandon is also a best-selling author, having published four full-length non-fiction books, two e-books, and two personal development daily success journals. He has sold more than 400,000 books worldwide. His top-selling title, The Book on Rental Property Investing, is consistently ranked in the top 50 of all business books in the world on, having also garnered nearly 700 five-star reviews on the Amazon platform.

In addition to books, Brandon also publishes regular audio and video content that reaches millions each year. His videos on YouTube have been watched cumulatively more than 10,000,000 times, and the podcast he hosts weekly, the BiggerPockets Podcast, is the top-ranked real estate podcast in the world, with more than 75,000,000 downloads over 350 unique episodes. The show also has over 10,000 five-star reviews in iTunes and is consistently in the top 10 of all business podcasts on iTunes.

A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie and son Wilder) spends his time surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the ocean near his home in Maui, Hawaii.

Brandon’s writing has been featured on,,, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media.

Instagram @beardybrandon
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If you are buying a property that is not listed on the MLS, you will probably not be using a real estate agent. While this can seem intimidating, this happens all the time, and although an agent won’t be there to hold your hand, you’ll get through it just fine!

Related: The Easiest Way to Find “Off Market” Deals: Pocket Listings

Making an offer to a private seller usually begins with a verbal offer, offered in casual conversation. It’s usually far less official at first, and it’s usually just brought up when touring the property. When I am trying to buy a home from a private seller, I like to start by asking the seller how much they would like to get. Then, after some negotiation (which I’ll cover later in this chapter), you’ll come to an agreement on price. At that point, you can pull out your official purchase and sale document and sign in all the necessary places to make it official.

Letter of Intent

Another casual way to make an offer without being too official is by using a letter of intent. A letter of intent is a simple document that lists the conditions of the purchase and sale, usually on one page, and doesn’t use all the legalese. It’s not a legal document, just a way for both parties to see the summary of what’s being offered. Often, the official purchase and sale document can be dozens of pages long just to explain a few important facts.


The Purchase and Sale Agreement

A letter of intent simply places those facts on one page, so both parties can decide whether an official purchase and sale agreement is worth drafting. If you don’t have a purchase and sale (P&S) agreement lying around, don’t worry! There are several places you can go to get one:

  • Local Title Company: Title companies will often give away legal P&S agreements because they know that by providing this free form, you will likely end up using them for the sale closing.
  • Online: There are several online websites that offer state-specific legal forms for purchase. You can also check the BiggerPockets FilePlace at for other useful forms and documents.Office Supply Store: Many office supply stores, especially the big box stores, carry P&S agreements along with many other legal forms.
  • Other Investors: Ask around at your local real estate club to see if anyone has the form you need. Most investors would have no problem sharing theirs.

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

Finally, no matter how you obtain your P&S form, I recommend that you have a local attorney take a glance at it. You want to be sure you are covering all the necessary bases, and a lawyer can help you do that. You can also simply get a P&S agreement from an attorney, though this might the most expensive option.

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Any questions about offering on a property not listed on the MLS? What has your experience been?

Comment below!