Why You Want to Find Off-Market Real Estate Deals

Real estate investor looking for off-market real estate deals

Any successful real estate investor knows the first step to profitability is to avoid overpaying for properties. The lower price you can pay for a house or piece of land, the more meat you have on the bone. You have more budget options with construction and renovations. You have a larger safety net when it comes to your overall return on investment (ROI).

Scanning the MLS for house listings is a tough way to find good deals. It can be effective every once in awhile. You may come across a property that has been sitting on the market longer than anything else, possibly because it is in poor condition or has other problems attached to is. This may present an opportunity to make a lower offer and buy it for a decent price. These great deals are few and far between in today’s market, however. We all know it’s a seller’s market right now and even the worst properties can bring plenty of competition from other buyers.

This is why you want to get more creative and seek out off-market real estate deals. These are properties that are not listed publicly—or at least not as public as high-profile listing services like the MLS. You might be able to find homes that not many other people know about. This gives you a leg up on the competition and may allow you to purchase the property at a lower price than it would fetch on the open market.

So, how do you find these great off-market deals? Here are a few ideas to consider:

Foreclosures & Tax Defaults

Check with local banks and scan the property tax default listings and auctions through your county’s sheriff department. Most of these properties will be posted publicly, but there is less competition compared to open-market listings like what you find on the MLS. You may find some good deals at seized property auctions or quick foreclosure sales offered by lenders/banks.

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

A number of homeowners will forego the traditional real estate sales process. They opt not to hire a real estate agent for any number of reasons. They decide to sell their properties on their own. These FSBO sales can present nice opportunities for real estate investors who seek them out and are ready to act quickly with fast cash offers. You can check local classified listings or find houses for sale by driving through neighborhoods in your target market.


You can implement your own marketing program to attract motivated sellers who are looking to make off-market deals. Whether it’s putting simple “I buy houses” signs up in various neighborhoods or developing a full-scale marketing campaign (website, emails, cold calls, billboards, print ads, etc.), you can potentially get sellers to contact you directly for an offer.

Referral Relationships

Another way to find good real estate investment opportunities is to build strong referral relationships with other professionals. You may be able to get in tight with a mortgage lender, probate attorney, real estate broker, property tax collector or someone else who has access to properties and knows homeowners who may be highly motivated or desperate to sell soon. Offer referral rewards and finder’s fees to make it worth their while (as long as everything is done legally and above board, of course).

Join the PropertyLark Network

PropertyLark uses all of these resources to attract motivated sellers. We then bring these off-market deals directly to the buyers in our real estate investment network. These are properties that have been identified and analyzed for excellent investment potential and won’t be found listed anywhere else.

To learn more about the PropertyLark home buying network, check out our Buyers homepage. To see if you qualify for exclusive membership, please fill out the contact form on the right and the brief questionnaire that follows.