Depending on your local market, investing in real estate can be difficult. There are many areas where sellers still have the upper hand, as inventory is limited. As you look for smart investment opportunities, keep these tips in mind for finding and purchasing off-market properties.

Targeted Mailings

Finding homeowners interested in selling who have yet to list their home can be done through mass mailings. While the technique is common among real estate experts, it isn’t free. You’ll invest your time and money to get your message to potential sellers but finding just one quality lead makes it worth the effort.

Choose a neighborhood of interest and design a flyer that specifies your interest in buying their home and the benefits to them, as the homeowner, of choosing you. Use professionalism in your wording and print quality. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re desperate or running a real estate scam.  

Partner with a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

As an investor, you should take the time to build relationships with top-performing real estate agents, but those partnerships can be especially helpful in locating off-market properties. Skilled Realtors understand the area’s market, are familiar with high-interest neighborhoods, and are most likely to have connections with those considering selling their property before the home makes the MLS.

Spot Neglect or Abandonment

Drive through your target area and look for properties that show signs of neglect or abandonment. Overgrown bushes, unkempt lawns, or parts of the home in disrepair could signify the homeowner is overwhelmed with the situation and may be more likely to sell. You’ll often find these situations with heirs of a family property, older owners unable to care for the property, or out-of-state owners who have let their rental property deteriorate.

Survey Ownership Details

Be aware of homes that were listed and sat on the market for some time before being removed. If a homeowner listed with an agent but removed the property before it was sold, they may be more willing to entertain an offer. Keep a pulse on your neighborhoods of interest and consider any factors that suggest an owner may be more willing to sell. Your partnership with a skilled real estate agent can also come into play. Agents often scour the MLS for owners whose listing has expired and can share those potential sellers.

While this list certainly isn’t all the ways to reach potential off-market sellers, it does include some of the most effective, cost-efficient methods to try. As you attempt to expand your investment portfolio, take steps to alleviate some of the competition by looking for off-market property leads.