Buying a House Off Market [Where to Find Deep Deals]

Published on September 1, 2023


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Buying a House Off Market

Buying a House Off Market

Finding a good deal in real estate isn't always a walk in the park. Every buyer dreams of landing that perfect house at an unbeatable price. But this doesn’t happen often, especially in traditional markets. This is where off-market properties come into play. 

This blog offers insights into the mysterious world of off-market real estate transactions. From understanding what it means to buy off-market to knowing where to find these elusive deals and how to navigate the process, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide.

What Is an Off Market Property?

What Is an Off Market Property?

An off-market property, also known as a pocket listing, is a type of real estate listing that isn't publicly advertised or listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

While traditional home sales in the local MLS or Multiple Listing Service involve marketing the property openly where potential buyers can easily find them, off-market homes follow a less conventional route. According to NAR or National Association of Realtors, ten percent of homes sales are actually off-market and without any seller's agent or MLS listings.

Sometimes, the seller wants to sell their home but doesn't want the public attention that comes with it. The reasons behind this could vary — it might be due to privacy concerns, wanting to avoid the hassle of showings, or even testing the market before fully committing to the sale.

In other instances, local real estate agents or a listing agent might hold a property off-market because they want to restrict the pool of other buyers to their own network or because they want to take their time finding the perfect match for a unique property. These houses are then sold quietly without the usual hassle of real estate advertising in the local MLS.

Off-market homes represent a segment of the real estate market that is somewhat hidden from the general public. Despite being less visible, they present unique opportunities for home buyers and investors to find off market deals that they might not come across in the conventional market. 

This is especially true in hot real estate markets, where competition is fierce, and unique or bargain investment properties are quickly snapped up.

While there are distinct advantages to buying an off market property, there are also complexities and challenges that home buyers need to be aware of. 

It requires careful navigation especially of personal finance, a keen understanding of the market, and strong negotiation skills to maximize these opportunities.

Advantages of Off-Market Properties to Real Estate Agents and Investors

Advantages of Off-Market Properties to Real Estate Agents and Investors

To better understand why many agents and investors prefer an off-market property or off market listing instead of those in the real estate market, here are some of its advantages.

  • Higher Profit: Off-market properties can yield higher profits for agents and investors, as they often allow for purchases below fair market value. The buyer can save on commission fees and set a higher selling price in the hot housing market.
  • Faster Closing: With fewer parties involved and no need for marketing or open houses, buying an off-market property can be closed more quickly and efficiently.
  • Less Competition: Off-market properties, being hidden from the public, attract less competition, providing a competitive edge to the buyer and avoiding potential bidding wars.
  • More Control Over the Sale: In off-market transactions, prospective buyers and sellers enjoy more control over the sale process of off market listings, enabling them to negotiate the deal on their own terms and timeline.
  • Easier Negotiation: With less competition and typically motivated potential sellers when buying an off market property, unlike in Multiple Listing Services, negotiation in off-market deals can be easier, offering a chance for investors and agents to secure favorable terms and conditions. The buyer interest is also followed.

Advantages of Off-Market Properties to Sellers

Advantages of Off-Market Properties to Sellers

Selling off-market is not just beneficial to agents and investors but also to homeowners or sellers. Check out this list of advantages for sellers when they sell their property off market.

  • Cash Payment: Selling off-market often attracts investors prepared to make immediate cash payments, eliminating the risk of buyer financing falling through. It is also easier to find buyers.
  • Fast Transaction: The streamlined process of off-market house sales can significantly expedite transactions, allowing sellers to close deals more quickly without a listing agent and dealing with a buyer's agent.
  • No Repairs Required: In an off-market sale, properties can often be sold "as is" to potential buyers, freeing sellers from the need to conduct expensive repairs or renovations.
  • Flexibility: Off-market sales offer sellers more flexibility, permitting them to negotiate on their terms and control the pace of the sale. The sellers desire is often followed when it comes to closing.
  • Sale Privacy: Selling off-market can help maintain privacy, allowing sellers to keep the details of the sale away from public scrutiny and attention.

Where to Find Off-Market Properties

Where to Find Off-Market Properties

Finding off-market properties requires strategic effort, creativity, and a willingness to use various methods. You also need to explore various ways to find investment properties, from digital platforms to direct personal outreach. 

Check out some of the sources, strategies, and methods to find off market properties or pocket listings.

1. Property Leads (

Property Leads distinguishes itself in the market as the only pay-per-lead platform utilizing SEO to cultivate the most high-yielding, off-market leads. Moreover, they provide exclusive leads, which mitigates the competition faced by investors. 

2. LeadVine (

LeadVine is a premier online source of leads for off-market home sellers across various markets. It has niche filtering capabilities and unique manual data processing that is very useful in the real estate industry. Further, LeadVine offers leads on Deceased Property Owners (DPOs), Probates, and Divorces. 

3. SEO Meets REI (

SEO Meets REI particularly excels in servicing real estate investors. The team behind this company understands the distinct challenges and requirements of real estate investors in, differentiating them from generic SEO service providers.

They currently run seven "We buy houses" websites, generating over a thousand SEO leads on a monthly basis.

4. Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents associated with the National Association of Realtors have extensive networks and often have access to off-market home listings through their connections, aside from access to Multiple Listing Service MLS listings.

They can provide valuable information about upcoming sales, expired listings, or sellers considering a private sale, thus proving to be an essential resource.

5. County or Public Records

By examining county or public records, you can gather information about property ownership, foreclosures or people behind on mortgage payments, liens, or properties in probate. This research can help you identify pocket listings or sellers who might be willing to consider an off-market deal.

6. Attorneys

Real estate, probate, or bankruptcy attorneys often have access to properties before they are publicly listed. Their clients may be going through life events that necessitate a property sale, and reaching out to these attorneys could yield potential off-market opportunities.

7. Wholesalers

Wholesalers identify off-market properties, negotiate a purchase price with the owner, then sell their contract to an investor. This process, known as wholesaling, is a quick way to locate off-market properties, although the sales price will typically include the wholesaler's fee.

8. Property Managers

The vast majority of property managers have insider knowledge about the properties they manage and may know owners considering a sale. By building relationships with property managers, investors can gain early access to potential off-market deals.

9. Service Companies or Contractors

Service companies or contractors often work on homes that are about to be sold. Establishing relationships with these businesses could provide leads on off-market properties that are being prepared for sale.

10. City Commissions

City commissions often have information about zoning changes, permits for significant renovations, and other data that could point to potential off-market deals. Regularly attending these meetings can help investors stay ahead of the seller's market changes and identify off-market opportunities.

11. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is not only for second-hand goods but also a hub for real estate listings. Sellers may list properties here before going to a traditional real estate listing, offering a chance to find off-market deals.

12. Craigslist

Craigslist is a platform where individuals can list properties for sale privately, potentially providing leads on off-market properties. Regular monitoring of such sites can reveal off market listings or off market homes that not even a real estate agent knows.

13. Property Auctions or Real Estate Auction Websites

Real estate auctions, including online auction websites, often feature properties that have been foreclosed, seized, or are part of an estate sale. These properties can be purchased before they hit the broader market or before a bidding war occurs between other agents and investors.

14. Off Market Listing Services

There are services that specifically compile and list off-market properties. These platforms allow sellers to list properties privately and can be a gold mine for investors looking for off-market opportunities.

15. Fellow Real Estate Investors

Networking with other real estate investors can provide leads on off-market properties. Some investors may have properties they are willing to sell or could provide tips about potential sales.

16. Drive for Dollars

The "drive for dollars" strategy involves driving around a particular neighborhood to look for properties that appear vacant, neglected, or in the process of renovation. These could be potential off-market properties that the owner is considering selling.

17. Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing involves sending letters or postcards to homeowners in your target area expressing your interest in buying properties. This proactive approach could yield leads from owners who are thinking of selling but haven't listed their property yet.

18. Pocket Listing Services

Pocket listing services are platforms where real estate agents share exclusive real estate listings before they hit the open market. Access to these services can provide a head start on locating potential off-market deals. However, expect that they charge membership fees for you to find pocket listings, especially in hot markets.

19. Cold Calling

Cold calling involves reaching out directly to property owners to inquire about a potential sale. While this approach requires effort and thick skin, it can uncover off-market opportunities that would otherwise be missed.

20. Door Knocking

Door knocking is a more personal alternative to cold calling, where you visit a property in person to express your interest in purchasing. This method can be particularly effective when targeted at distressed properties or areas experiencing a lot of real estate activity.

21. Digital Ads

Digital ads on platforms like Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn, targeted at homeowners in specific areas, can help unearth potential off-market properties. An effectively crafted ad can encourage owners considering selling to reach out directly.

Key Takeaways: Buying a House Off Market [Where to Find Deep Deals]

Pursuing off-market properties can present a great opportunity to find deep deals when buying a house. From networking with real estate professionals and utilizing online platforms to directly reaching out to homeowners and leveraging public records, numerous strategies can lead you to these hidden gems. 

While the process may demand patience and perseverance, the potential rewards, such as less competition and more room for negotiation, make the venture worthwhile.

Ready to buy off-market properties? Be sure to check out Property Leads, LeadVine, and SEO Meets REI!


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