Tips for Finding Off Market Deals
Some of the most lucrative deals you will ever come across are off market deals, and today I have some tips for finding these lucrative deals.
There’s no doubt that there is a lot of competition for deals on the MLS. However, the MLS isn’t the only source of good deals. There are a lot of properties that are never listed by an agent and that’s what I want to talk about today.
Here’s something you need to know.
The MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) enacted a new policy at the end of 2019 called the MLS Statement 8.0 Clear Cooperation Policy. This policy took place and 2020. The intent of this policy was to regulate off market properties on the MLS. Now, this policy was already in place in my area and in many other areas.
What it comes down to is that brokers and agents must submit the property listing to the MLS within 24 hours of marketing the property to the public.
What this means for real estate investors is that if agents have a distressed property that has not yet been entered into the MLS it’s often called a “pocket listing.” These real estate agents have time to call their favorite real estate investor and give them a heads up about the property. This has always been the case in my area as long as I have been in this business. The agent gets a quick sale, and the investor gets a great deal without any competition.
This is just one example of how working with agents that have a clear understanding of what we do as investors can work to your advantage. It can put you on their radar so that when they have a deal that isn’t right for the MLS they think of you.
Quote: “Give the seller multiple options so that it’s easy for them to say yes to your offer.” -Sharon Vornholt
What Exactly Are Off Market Properties?
Off market properties are properties that are not listed on the MLS. Working with these properties has always been my favorite way to find deals. Why is that? There are several reasons:
- There is so much less competition for these properties than on the MLS.
- It has been my experience that these are often more profitable deals than properties listed on the MLS.
- I like having the opportunity to speak directly with the seller rather than going through an agent. This isn’t so much about negotiation as it is about finding a solution to the seller’s problem.
You are able to do creative things to make the deal work for the seller that you might not be able to with a property listed on the MLS. You can agree on things like giving the seller extra time to move, and other special concessions you might be able to offer like paying back taxes, helping with moving costs, etc.
It’s just easier to create a “win-win” for both parties that are not solely focused on price.
Where Do You Find These Deals?
They are everywhere. Here are some methods and tips for finding off market deals.
1. Direct mail marketing. This is my favorite way of finding and marketing to these folks. It is one of the most efficient and consistent ways to generate leads in your business. Oftentimes, you will be dealing with sellers that just don’t want the hassle of listing their property on the MLS. These folks will be looking for a quick, hassle-free solution that gets them out from under whatever problem they are experiencing.
You’ll need to determine what type of property you are searching for. Are they probates, preforeclosures, absentee owners, or some other type of off market seller? Then you will want to figure out how to reach these sellers.
2. Networking. Networking is one of the best ways for finding off market deals. And one of the best things about networking is that it’s free for the most part except for the occasional meeting fee or buying a meal. You can often find a deal quickly with this strategy, and you can also set yourself up to get referrals for years to come.
3. Your lead generation website. The magic of your lead generation website is that these are people that are looking for YOU. Typically, these folks have a problem they need to solve, and they are searching for a solution. You want to be their solution. The fact that they are searching for you makes them very motivated sellers. A properly optimized website can generate leads 24/7 on autopilot.
4. Driving for dollars. This is a free or low-cost way to find distressed or vacant properties (except for the gas). I personally know folks that have had great success driving for dollars. The main drawback to this investing strategy is that it’s not really scalable.
5. Online Websites. Online sites that have a property listed would include auction sites, for sale by owner sites, and property listed on Zillow that’s not yet listed on the MLS yet to name a few. Online websites can be a great source for off market deals.
6. Wholesalers. A good wholesaler can also be a great source of deals especially if you don’t have the time or the interest in marketing directly to the seller yourself. Here’s a little disclaimer. Do your own due diligence on the property to be sure it’s actually a deal. Not all wholesalers actually have a good deal to sell.
7. Public Records. You can often find off market deals searching public records. Examples of these deals would be probates, preforeclosures, divorce, code violations and so much more. Many of these lists can also be purchased. As the foreclosure moratorium ends, there will be a lot of opportunities for investors to help these folks that find themselves in a tough situation. Probates will always be a strong source of leads. You know probates are my favorite lead source.
8. Real estate agents and builders. My advice to you is to always be upfront with these folks and let them know you are an investor. Both builders and agents often come across good deals they aren’t interested in purchasing themselves.
9. Tired landlords. There are going to be a lot of these folks as the eviction moratorium ends. Many landlords have had a tough time since the start of the pandemic and are just beaten down. Some of them will be ready to sell their portfolio as evictions resume. You may very well come across some of these investors in your local REIA.
Quote: “Probates are the cash cow of off market deals.” -Sharon Vornholt
Probates are The Cash Cow of Off Market Deals
Finding off market deals that provide you with a never-ending supply of leads has never been easier when you work probates. These leads are not affected by market conditions, and there will always be folks that need our help with the property in the estate. Foreclosures, REO’s and other types of off market properties are affected by market cycles. That’s not true in the case of probates.
The vast majority of these properties that are bought by investors will need work. Properties needing repairs and updates are what most investors specialize in. However, there are those properties that will be the exception. They are some good properties that come your way due to “time and circumstances” problems. What does that mean?
Here’s an Example…
An example of that would be when you have an out-of-state executor that needs to sell the property in the estate. It might be too much trouble for them to fly across the country multiple times to settle an estate. Remember that they are looking for a hassle-free solution. In many cases, this means they would be willing to take less money for the property than they would get if the property were listed, and they are OK with that. I encourage you to dive into the niche of probates and learn how to take advantage of this very lucrative niche.
Probate Investing Simplified
If you don’t know how to get started with probate investing I can help. You can become a probate investing expert in just six short weeks if you complete my course and implement the information you learn.
If you want to fast-track your success, check out my probate investing course called, “Probate Investing Simplified.” This will be one of the best investments you ever make in yourself.
There are so many ways for finding off market deals. Here’s where you start. Decide on 3 or 4 marketing strategies for off market deals and work those consistently. The thing I love about direct mail marketing is that you can automate this process and it’s more affordable than ever. For most investors, direct mail will provide the most reliable source of consistent leads.
If I had to give you one tip it when working with sellers of off market deals, it would be to offer the seller multiple options so that it’s easy for them to say yes to your offer.
Probate Investing Simplified Starter Kit (Freebie)
I have a freebie for you today to get you started with probates including a sample probate letter to send to the personal representative. Just click here to get your Probate Investing Starter Kit.
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