Value in Stale Listings?

4 Replies

We're all aware of how frothy a lot of RE markets are right now, and how competitive buying can be (offers way over asking, dropping contingencies, etc). But even in this environment, most markets will have listings that have sat for weeks or months or longer. Sometimes it's totally obvious why a property has sat on the market, but sometimes there seems to be opportunity in some of these stale listings.

Has anyone had success targeting stale listings? Possibly using the time on market as leverage when making your offer? Or is it best to avoid sifting through listings that have presumably been passed over for good reason? I'm looking at MFHs in a fairly competitive market and am seeing a few interesting listings from the early fall/summer and am wondering if I should dig deeper on them or just focus on reacting quickly to newer listings.

100% there is value in looking at older, passed over listings. On my team, other agents/investors have closed on those types of listings multiple times just recently. 

Usually, in looking at and analyzing properties very single day, you'll develop a pretty good gut instinct for which ones really are worth passing over and which ones might have some light at the end of the tunnel. Often, agents will disclose "foundation needs work" or "tenant hasn't paid in 6 months" in the confidential realtor remarks that aren't necessarily disclosed in the public listing, and you can cross off those listings pretty quick if that's a problem you don't want to currently solve. 

However, many times those listings are just poorly marketed. For example, I bet some of the listings you are seeing only have one picture (or blurry, rough pictures), or list in the description previous rental rates that are lower than what you'd get with a little grit and patience. OR, they've been sitting there because a tenant IS paying under market rent and a majority of buyers just don't want to deal with it even though their ultimate goal is to buy and hold for 30 years anyway. Then, by the time the listing has been on the market for 30 days, many will assume "there must be something wrong" and skip over it and that just adds to the snowball that is keeping it on the market for forever. 

Ultimately, those types of properties are probably going to have some story to them. But if you are willing to zoom out and solve a problem that others might not be willing to, there is definitely opportunity if market rent, purchase price etc. all show that the deal COULD work. 

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Originally posted by @Michael Helfant:

However, many times those listings are just poorly marketed. For example, I bet some of the listings you are seeing only have one picture (or blurry, rough pictures), or list in the description previous rental rates that are lower than what you'd get with a little grit and patience. OR, they've been sitting there because a tenant IS paying under market rent and a majority of buyers just don't want to deal with it even though their ultimate goal is to buy and hold for 30 years anyway. Then, by the time the listing has been on the market for 30 days, many will assume "there must be something wrong" and skip over it and that just adds to the snowball that is keeping it on the market for forever.  

Thanks for the thoughtful reply! This totally affirms my thinking. I'm definitely seeing some properties that are just badly marketed with terrible pictures, these seem like good opportunities to dig a bit deeper into and possibly capitalize on. 

Try propertyradar.com. I have the 5 state version for $79 per month and can download 10,000 leads per month. You can filter for expired listings by all sorts dates, get the owner's address, phone numbers, email addresses and you can even download all sorts of trust deed, grant deeds, or whatever you call them. This is the best source I've ever seen. I showed the website to a few brokers and they were amazed and subscribed to propertyradar.com. Even if I did not invest in real estate I still use it for my plumbing business for marketing and to make sure we are doing business with the property owners.