How Do People Find Off Market Properties?

Off-Market properties refer to the real estate offerings available for sale but not publicly listed through conventional channels like local multiple listing service (MLS) or other popular listing platforms.

People find off market property primarily through word of mouth, or by consulting with property experts. Sellers of these homes are often not in a rush to sell, permitting prospective buyers ample time for thorough due diligence before making an offer.

These off-market homes tend to offer unique opportunities for investors seeking potential for better negotiations, increased control over transactions, and ultimately, enhanced returns on their investments.

If you’re ready to invest in property in the next 6 months and would like to discuss off-market opportunities, visit this page to book a free consultation call.

Off-market properties can offer potential buyers many unique benefits. There’s less competition for these properties that are not publicly listed, which reduces the likelihood of bidding wars and clears the path for lowball offers.

Because of the privacy surrounding the sale of these properties, they receive less attention. This means that there is more room for negotiation and lower purchase rates, especially if sellers are temporarily not listing their property.

Off-market properties have advantages, such as easier negotiations and more flexibility. This is because there are fewer people interested in these properties, which reduces pressure and makes it easier to agree on contracts and terms.

Why Choose Off-Market Properties?

Off-market properties can be a game-changer for investors. These exclusive deals provide a range of benefits that can lead to greater profits and a smoother purchasing process.

Better Deals and Negotiations

Off-market properties often present an avenue for better deals and smoother negotiations. With the reduced visibility of the sale, buyers have an improved chance to negotiate favourable purchase prices before the property is publicly listed.

As there are usually no competing bids to drive the property’s value up, buyers can put forth reasonable offers aligning with their budget and the accurate valuation of the property.

Less competition and less advertising mean lower costs, resulting in better deals for both parties involved.

Less Competition in the Market

Having less competition in the market is always a boon, especially true in property investment.  As the name implies, these are properties that are not part of the public listings, which significantly reduces the number of potential buyers vying for a deal.

Unlike widespread open market scenarios, where hundreds of prospective buyers might be placing competitive bids, seller listings often entertain only two or three interested buyers at most.

Lower competition prevents buyers from getting ensnared in a bidding war, ultimately shielding them from paying an over-inflated price.

Not only does this increase the chances of their offer being accepted by the seller, but it also allows buyers to conduct thorough due diligence before making an offer.

Consequently, the buying process of off-market homes tends to be less stressful and more straightforward, creating unique opportunities for investors.

Faster Closing Process

With less competition, there is typically less bureaucracy and back-and-forth negotiation, resulting in a quicker transaction.

This can be particularly beneficial for investors who are looking for immediate returns or have time-sensitive investment objectives.

Methods to Discover Off-Market Properties

Off-market properties can be great opportunities for investors looking to get a good deal on their investment. However, the challenge lies in finding these off-market properties. Thankfully, there are several methods that investors can use to discover off-market properties and take advantage of the unique benefits they offer.

Speak to Existing Property Investors

If you’re new to property investing but are ready to get started in the next 6 months the best thing to do is speak to a knowledgable expert.

These are people that have been there, done that, and often have contacts in the industry who can help you find off market properties.

Sound interesting?  If you’re committed to completing a property investment in the next 6 months I’d be happy to have a free call with you, visit to find out more and book a call.

Networking with Real Estate Agents

A powerful method to discover off-market properties is through networking with estate agents. In this process, you may occasionally cross paths with a contractor, who could potentially share inside information about properties that aren’t listed yet.

Building relationships with agents, brokers, solicitors, other investors and contractors can lead to word-of-mouth referrals and access to unadvertised or off-market deals.

Estate agents are motivated to sell properties fast and may be willing to give you a heads up to properties that have yet to hit the open market if they know you can complete a quick transaction.

As networking is arguably the best lead generation strategy in real estate, sharing your investment criteria with contractors and agents might unearth hidden opportunities in the market, and can potentially let you negotiate deals before they hit mainstream listings.

That’s why it’s vital to be in a position to close an investment in the next 6 months.  If you’re not ready to complete, off market isn’t for you.

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing is a traditional but effective method to discover off-market property deals. This strategy involves legwork, such as sending targeted, personalized letters or postcards to property owners.

Direct mail lets investors connect with potential sellers who perhaps had not considered selling until they received a tempting proposal. In effect, this marketing tactic broadens their reach to prospective sellers even before their properties enter the public market. Thus, it increases the spectrum of available off-market opportunities.

To implement direct mail campaigns, the first step is identifying your target demographic or area. This could be neighbourhoods or postcodes witnessing noticeable property growth recently. 

Bear in mind: Crafting a compelling message is crucial. Aside from elucidating your intent to buy, your correspondence through letters, postcards or emails should present an attractive proposal. The more you tailor and professionalize your campaign, the higher the response rates. 

A word of caution: You might need to contact numerous prospects before receiving any responses. Thus, patience and consistently following-up with calls, letters, or emails could potentially enhance your prospects of a successful deal. 

Making Use of Online Resources

In the digital age, various online resources have emerged as effective tools to find off-market properties. A myriad of online databases and platforms, including Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Craigslist, to name a few, can yield valuable virgin terrains of off-market properties. 

On these platforms, properties can sometimes appear before being placed with an estate agent. By setting up alerts and filters on these webs of property transactions, you can stay informed when a deal that fits your criteria is posted. These online resources offer real opportunities for someone in the property investment game seeking to engage in off-market property investments.

An important point to remember while scouring these platforms is that anyone can list there. Therefore, due diligence and rigorous homework about any property you consider are essential to avoid pitfalls and scams. Reach out to owners directly if possible, validate the property details, and ensure it meets your investment objectives before proceeding with any transaction.

Online property portals are a good starting point for your search, but they are only one tool for investment.  Diversifying your strategy with both online and offline methods will ensure a well-rounded approach in the constantly evolving property marketplace.

Scouting through Property Auctions

Visiting auctions is another method to find off-market properties. Often, these properties end up being auctioned at such venues, both online and in-person.

These auctions offer a regular stream of off-market properties, among which many are promising rental properties, often sold below the market rates, hence an exceptional opportunity for investors.

If you’re unsure about auctions you should check out our article on how to buy properties at auctions.

Auctions can sometimes involve riskier transactions compared to conventional property purchases. Hence, exercise caution, enlist the help of experts if possible, and have your financing sorted well in advance.

Tapping Word-of-mouth Referrals

Harnessing the power of word-of-mouth referrals is an unconventional yet incredibly rewarding approach to discovering off-market properties. Unlike traditional methods — which are often capital intensive, time-consuming, and competitive — word-of-mouth referrals are a cost-effective means of lead generation that relies on building relationships.

This can include establishing a strong digital presence, such as being active on social platforms like Facebook, and offering exceptional service, aimed at establishing a strong professional reputation.

Make it known to the world that you want to buy property, and you might find motivated sellers come to you.

If you’re unsure what I mean by this, check out my article on how to find motivated property sellers.

A simple yet effective way to tap into this valuable resource can be as simple as asking your contacts if they know anyone who’s thinking of selling their property. 

Indeed, while it seems simple enough, building a solid reputation that encourages positive word-of-mouth referrals requires genuine dedication and, often, time. It’s about more than just doing good work; it’s also about developing a strong presence in digital communities like X/Twitter and becoming an integral part of them. This involves developing lasting relationships built on mutual trust, respect, and consistency in digital interactions.

If you’re looking to make a business out of this you should check out our article on how to create a property pipeline.

Pros and Cons of Buying an Off-Market Property

Advantages of Purchasing Off-Market Listings

Purchasing off-market listings comes with many distinctive advantages that can benefit both seasoned and novice investors:

  • Less Competition: As off-market properties fly under the radar, the competition for these listings is notably less compared to publicly listed properties. This can often mean easy access to prime high-equity properties, where owners are more likely to sell. Such conditions minimize bidding wars and increase the chances that your purchase bid will be accepted.
  • Potential for Lower Sale Prices: With decreased visibility and competition, sellers, particularly absentee owners with vacant properties, often exercise more flexibility with their sale price. This can provide potential buyers with an opportunity to negotiate more favorable purchase prices, thereby securing a better deal.
  • Flexible Negotiation Process: Having just a limited pool of potential buyers can make the negotiation process much more relaxed. Sellers and buyers can discuss and agree on different aspects of the sale without the pressures of a typical market negotiation, such as price, closing terms, and renovations, or repairs. Here, homeowners sitting on high-equity property could be easily persuaded to cash it.
  • Access to More Options: Often, sellers of off-market properties may not be looking to sell urgently, but are rather testing the waters: a possible indication of a property that’s free & clear. This allows you access to unique properties that might not be available on the open market.

As with any real estate purchase, it’s crucial to perform a due diligence before buying an off-market property to understand the property’s value, especially its equity, the local market, and any potential legal issues. If played right, off-market listings can serve as a valuable tool in your real estate investing strategy.

Drawbacks of Opting for Off-Market Properties

Although off-market real estate deals have their advantages, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks of this approach. Here are some key cons to be aware of:

  • Lack of Visability: Being off market means it’s not as easy to find investment opportunities compared to visiting the local estate agent.  You might find the time and effort required to locate these deals offsets the savings that you make.
  • Potential for Inexperienced Sellers: Often, off-market properties are For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties. Such sellers might lack the experience or knowledge of real estate transactions, making resulting negotiations and the purchase process more challenging.
  • Risk of Unforeseen Issues: Off-market properties might come with potential legal or structural issues, whose discovery is more complicated due to the private nature of the transaction. Thorough due diligence is essential to avoid such obstacles. 

Despite these potential pitfalls, the advantages of off-market properties can often outweigh the potential drawbacks.

By performing due diligence, investors can capitalize on these advantages and make off-market properties a profitable part of their real estate portfolio.

Final Thoughts and Helpful Tips

As you embark on the journey of hunting for off-market properties, it’s essential to take necessary precautions to safeguard your investment and ensure a seamless transaction.

Here are a few pointed recommendations:

  • Do Your Due Diligence: Regardless of how appealing an off-market property seems, always do your homework. Verify the property’s value, inspect the premises, check for any liens, permits, or legal issues and scrutinize property taxes due.
  • Seek Professional Help: As with any legal transaction, hiring a solicitor can give you added protection against any legal complications in the deal, particularly those involving property titles, inheritance issues, liens or even confidentiality issues.
  • Ensure Proper Financing: Always secure your financing ahead of time. Make sure your creditworthiness is in order, consider potential financing options, and have a pre-approval letter ready if you want to proceed with the purchase.
  • Pay Attention to the Property Condition: Ensure a thorough property inspection by a professional inspector to ascertain the property’s physical condition and help determine any potential repair or renovation costs.

These steps can shield you from potential investment pitfalls and ensure you reap the maximum benefits of your off-market property investment. Always remember that the assurance of due diligence, including paying close attention to property taxes, can never be overvalued in real estate investment.

In conclusion, off-market properties offer a unique opportunity for investors to get a great deal on real estate investments.

However, the process of finding and purchasing such properties requires due diligence to ensure a successful purchase.

By following the helpful tips above and thoroughly researching potential properties, investors can reap the rewards of an off-market property investment while avoiding any potential pitfalls.

With the right approach, this strategy can be a lucrative way to add to your portfolio.

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