This article outlines how to facilitate offline deals for purchasing and selling real estate. I’ll tell you what. 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 without spending any money on marketing. Here’s a short rundown of how I’ve utilized creative means and little effort to make deals happen.
How to Purchase Real Estate With No (or Low) Money!
One of the biggest struggles that many new investors have is in coming up with the money to purchase their first real estate properties. Well, BiggerPockets can help with that too. The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down can give you the tools you need to get started in real estate, even if you don’t have tons of cash lying around.
Tell People You’re an Investor
And not just other investors, either. 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 ton of money on agent commissions and I got myself a 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 sale in most markets.
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, 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 word is out there.
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.
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 (1.5% 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.
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.
Ultimately, there are many creative ways to skirt an otherwise competitive market. I’ve used these to save myself and others money and time.
What have you all done to get your off-market deals?