With the local real estate market so active, home inventory at near record lows and buyers in a frenzy to find homes, the buzz is all about “off market” listings. So what does that really mean and how can it benefit you? Off market listings can mean a number of different things which can include:
- Exclusive listings – This is a situation in which a realtor has a signed listing agreement but the seller doesn’t want it on the MLS for some reason. This can sometimes be due to the home having tenants, can be due to sellers simply not wanting to go through the hassles of open houses, endless showings, etc. This usually will get the seller a lower sales price, but for many it’s well worth it. It’s great for home buyers to know about these listings as the competition can be far less fierce. Less competition can often mean better price and terms for the buyer
- Upcoming listings – sometimes a home will be coming up for sale but just not listed yet. The usual reason is that the seller is getting it ready for the market. This can mean anything from doing major work/upgrading to simply cleaning it up. If you can get in early before the seller has spent money there is an opportunity to buy at a lower price.
- Pocket listings – this is a situation in which someone (usually a realtor) knows of someone that “might” consider selling. As they usually do not have a listing agreement signed it’s tough to get much information from them. Agents often contact me with pocket listings and may give a street or a vague description but often not an actual address.
There are other opportunities as well with some sellers taking a “make me move” type approach in which the right price just may get them to consider selling. Other potential opportunities may include knowing which homes have a notice of default or notice of trustee’s sale, and they may consider doing a short sale (although most lenders require the home to be “on the market” for them to consider)
So how do you find out about off market listings? The best way is to find a local realtor that spends time networking with other agents and homeowners. Intimate market knowledge is critical as many top agents share listing information prior to it going on the MLS or being marketed to the masses. I generally hear of 10 listings or so each week that are off market or not yet listed and this can be a tremendous advantage in a market that is so competitive. Contact South Bay realtor Keith Kyle for information on off market listings and homes not yet on the MLS.