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How to Find Properties Not Listed for Sale 

How to Find Properties Not Listed for Sale

Can you find great deals on properties if the property is not yet listed for sale? The answer is yes you can! There are ways to build an off-market list and we will touch on just a few.

First off, did you know brokers have lists of people, including names and numbers, who own property, and you can purchase these lists? For instance, have you ever gotten a call from somebody asking you if you are interested in selling your property or telling you they buy houses? These calls can be annoying, but don’t you wonder how they got your number? Well, it's called a list broker. They have a database and are allowed to take your info and sell it to others. Sounds illegal but it's not. Your info is sold to companies so they can market you.

This is just one way to find off market lists, but there are many others. If you choose to go this route, how do you find the right company for you? If you're looking for a property with certain criteria like a multi-family or commercial you would put in your criteria, the price range you're looking for, an area, how old the property is, and how long the current owner has owned it. If you talk to an owner who has had this property for many years, they may be motivated to sell a lot more than a person who has owned a property only one or two years and the property could potentially have equity in it.

Another way to find properties is through bankruptcies. Bankruptcy is a judicial process where individuals who, in short, have more liabilities than assets, and are worth nothing, attempt to eliminate their debt. A bankruptcy lawyer will go to a bankruptcy judge, show your assets and liabilities, and the creditors are listed and given an opportunity to liquidate assets to minimize their loss. There are different kinds of bankruptcies. One is a re-organization, and the other is a complete elimination of debt. The court system in most states will use a trustee. This is an individual that works with the court to make sure that there are assets that can be liquidated to pay off creditors. They are there to facilitate. A good example, Florida will not allow you to have anything over $1000 of value including your car, or you have to purchase it out of bankruptcy. In some states your home can be liquidated but in other states that is not allowed. Bottom line, if you work with a bankruptcy lawyer or a trustee that could be an excellent way of finding real estate in distress and a must sell situation.

We as a company offer software to our students that can help you find properties that are in pre–foreclosures. This is where the homeowner may have fallen on hard times, missed a few payments and the bank has not yet contacted them to take back the property. The software searches all 50 states and gives you a list with homeowner’s contact info. This is a great tool to create a win win situation where you can potentially help somebody before the house is taken by the bank, so they don’t end up with a foreclosure on their hands.

Probate is another way to get a property that is not listed for sale. Probate is set up to take the assets of a deceased person and reallocate ownership to family members, business partners, or individuals, based on the desires of the deceased individual. If a person dies intestate, it means they did not have an estate plan or a will. One thing we know is more and more individuals do not do an estate plan, so working with a probate lawyer can be an excellent way of finding property that has to be sold. Many times, if there are five heirs to a single-family home and some of the heirs are not in good standing with other family members fights will ensue. Working probate can help you find deals to alleviate financial situations for families and an excellent way to liquidate an asset when families just simply don’t get along.

Remember a key component in your selection of how to find deals is letting everyone know you’re a real estate investor and asking them if they know of anyone who is looking for or has bought and sold a property, to give you a call. Some of the things that may result in good deals to happen are the following: death, debt, sickness, job loss, divorce, or relocation.

When you let people know what you do it opens opportunities for you to ask questions, find out what their situation is, and then see if you can come up with a solution. Nine out of ten times one of the reasons I mentioned above is the cause of a house being put up for sale. We only touched on three in this article but below are other ways you can find deals that may not be listed on the MLS.

  • Internet
  • Newspaper
  • Code enforcement
  • Run and add
  • Foreclosure
  • Bird Dog
  • Probate attorney
  • Divorce attorney
  • Title company
  • Investor club
  • Bail bond
  • Churches and schools
  • For rent with lease option
  • Expired listing
  • Door to door

Areas of Review


Big picture takeaway points

  1. No matter how complex something can look, if you understand the fundamentals, it can all make sense.
  2. Stops are a huge help in keeping you safe in the market.
  3. Understand a few basic concepts will help you see the bigger picture.


Self-reflection questions to think more about the content

  1. Do I have a trading account set up?
  2. How long will I trade in my practice account till I’m ready to trade with real money?
  3. Mutiple streams of income is how you build wealth over time.

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