In this fast-paced market, it can feel very overwhelming to find the perfect home for you and your family. Maybe inventory has been so low that you’ve become discouraged, or maybe you’ve lost a couple offers of homes you really loved. When all else fails, it might be time to consider making an off-market
deal. Ryan and I found ourselves in this same situation, and now we are here to give our best practices, tips and tricks on how to secure an off-market property.
Why We Chose to Buy Off-market
We all have our various reasons for selling our homes, but the location was our main motivation. Being a blended family, we have kids in two different school zones (Davidson and Rutherford), so we were looking for a location that worked for our unique logistical needs. We fell in love with McDaniel Farms in College Grove for a number of reasons, one which being that it was about as equidistant between our two different school zones as possible.
Having your sights so narrowly set on a specific neighborhood with our continuing low inventory can add to the challenges, unless you think creatively. We had to be extra patient, but after a lot of persistency and conversations with potential sellers, we were able to find the perfect home in the neighborhood of our dreams – completely off market!
After going through this process, here are our best practices on how you can possibly snag an off-market home.
1. Be Serious
We had already done our homework to know we loved the community and the majority of the homes in the neighborhood. You don’t want to be wishy-washy once you start reaching out or you’ll waste everyone’s time.
2. Get Personal
We reached out to various agents we knew that either lived in the community or had listed in the past and let them all know how serious we were about finding a home. We asked them to post on the community Facebook page (which turned into the lead that we are now under contract for!) and also sent personal hand addressed letters (which also turned into a number of leads, believe it or not. People actually responded!)
3. Be Flexible With Your Terms
We offered a long timeline for the potential sellers to find their next home. Knowing you are talking to homeowners who weren’t already in the process of selling their home, there’s a lot of uncertainty you’re asking of them to consider an off-market offer. We gave 90 days for them to find/move, with a faster closing so they had their funds in hand and up to 60 days occupancy. If those terms aren’t something you’re uncomfortable with, pursuing an off-market find might be the best approach for you.
4. Be Approved and Have a Plan in Place
The idea of selling a home and purchasing all at once can often overwhelm and we knew we’d like to avoid that if at all possible. There were a couple of approaches we could have taken, but we oped for utilizing our HELOC since it was already in place.
- Use our existing HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) for our downpayment on the new home so we can close without having to have sold our home beforehand. Once you sell, you then use your proceeds to pay off the HELOC at closing.
- Use a bridge loan option which gives you a similar option and depending on the lender, has minimal fees associated so you aren’t paying for two closings.
We couldn’t be more excited about our off-market find. If you have your heart set on a specific location, but are getting discouraged because there’s nothing on the market, let us know!
Schedule a Consult
Whether you are buying, selling or building, a complimentary consultation will help our team of experts determine the best strategy for your personal real estate goals. Let us help you begin your journey with a 30-minute introductory call!