How to Find Secret “Off-Market” Properties Not Available Anywhere Online
So you know you need to expand your home search beyond what you're seeing on sites like Zillow™, Redfin™, Realtor.com™ and the MLS....
You've seen how it can lead to saving up to 25% on one of life's biggest transactions.
And you already know it can mean the difference between finding a home that just "sort of" fits what you're looking for, versus finding something that matches your exact criteria.
But the question you're probably asking now is, "how do I find these properties?"
Knocking on stranger's doors?
Running classified ads?
Talking to neighbors?
Well, in this post I'm going to walk you through what's working for my clients and me right now.
These are the strategies I've paid mentors tens of thousands of dollars to discover, and are the same strategies I'm using to find my own investment properties, as well as primary residences (or vacation homes) for my clients.
Put these into action and you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect Naples home.
The first place to start any home search is with your criteria.
Before you can start marketing to off-market homeowners, you need to have an idea of what the ideal home might look like to you.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Do you want to be in a gated community?
- Do you want to be in a single family home or a condo?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms would be ideal?
- Do you want to be close to any particular attractions in town (i.e. the beach, 5th Ave, Mercato, etc.)?
- Do you have any pets (some Homeowners' Associations have pet restrictions)?
- Are there any particular amenities you want in your community (golf, tennis, fitness center, etc.)?
Don't feel the need to get it perfect on your own...
Having an exploratory conversation with an agent can help you sort through the different areas of town, different communities, price points, and amenities so you'll have a better understanding of what might make sense.
Once you have your criteria outlined, it's time to find a list of homes that match that criteria.
There are a number of ways to do this, but what we've found to be the most effective is to use softwares like Remine (which allows you to plug in your criteria and find a list of homes that match, whether they're on or off-market).
The key is to limit that list to the owners who are most likely willing to sell.
This can mean limiting the search to people who have owned for more than 3 years, have high equity in their home, or perhaps are in some sort of financial distress (pre-foreclosure, tax delinquent, etc.)
Now, it's finally time to get the word out to these homeowners that you're in the market to buy.
We've found that a few different methods work the best:
- Mailing handwritten letters
- Getting the owners' email addresses and sending a few emails over the course of a week or two
- Cold calling
- Cold texting
- Door knocking
Outside of that, having consistent advertising going out via channels like direct mail, Facebook, YouTube, etc. can generate a consistent flow of off-market listings, many of which are often the perfect fit for our clients.
Once you have a few homeowners responding to your marketing, you can start feeling out which might be the most serious about selling.
From there, you can get a better understanding of what their price expectations might be, then set up private showings.
After that, it's really as simple as negotiating the price and terms of the transaction.
The best part is there isn't such a massive time crunch like there would be if the home were actively listed. No additional buyers making things unnecessarily competitive.
I know this can seem a bit overwhelming.
And frankly, I don't blame you.
My team and I do this every day now, but I can remember the first time I started to learn about these strategies. It was hard to know where to start.
But luckily for you, that's what we're here for. My team and I are ready to help you find your next Naples home via our Perfect Home Finder program.
In it, we handle everything I just described on your behalf. We'll work with you to establish what the perfect home looks like to you, then handle all the marketing, screening, and negotiations.
And the best part is, we don't even charge a penny for this because the seller is the one paying the commission.
I explain the Perfect Home Finder program in a little more detail in this short video. Watch Here to Get Started