How To Locate Off-Market Properties

Updated: Jul 23

Abandoned House Opportunity
Finding Off Market Properties

Many people believe that the best way to find a great investment property is search listings online or call a realtor. Sure, these methods can help you, but they are not just the best ones out there. As a real estate investor, your goal is to make a significant return at the end of the day.

This is where off-market properties can come into play. By essence, it refers to properties that the market has no knowledge about. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways to find off-market properties. Here are some of them:

#1. Direct Mail Campaigns

This is without a doubt the most popular way of finding off-market properties. The idea is to create a list of properties within a certain zip code. As much as possible, you should try to target owners with lots of equity in their properties. From there, you can just send a letter or post card to inform them about your interest in buying houses in the neighborhood. You could include a starting offer and a phone number with your inquiry.

#2. Online Resources

This is where you are going to need the help of online property ownership list aggregate like These sites offer several off-market properties. They also often offer a good number of perks both for buyers and sellers. It holds true that proactive lead generation strategies often do better, also these online resources are cost-efficient, and you can shop for these deals at the comfort of your home.

#3. Local Investor Meeting Ups

You can attend these special interest groups with other local investors in your area. This strategy is perfect for building relationships with investors who have further knowledge about off-market deals, most of which you cannot easily find using the aforementioned methods.

#4. Legal Notices of Local Newspaper and Community Bulletins

Yes, that’s right – your local newspaper posts public records featuring pre-foreclosures tax lien properties and more. And mind you, both of these can easily offer you with lucrative investment opportunities. The same thing can be said for community bulletins, most of which feature off-market properties. Start by surveying your local newspapers, local government sites, and community bulletins, among many others. You will find real estate properties that are soon to be listed, giving you another opportunity to take advantage of quick.

#5. Drive Through Opportunity Neighborhoods

Do you see a vacant house in the neighborhood? Or perhaps you want to know which properties in a neighborhood are vacant? Well, one thing you can do is ask the neighbors if they know who the owner is. If a property is vacant, it is very likely that the owner is interested in selling it. The property may have back taxes and repairs to perform, but these hurdles are all just part of what’s expected with vacant properties. In fact, the title holder could give you a great price on the property. So, don’t be shy to drive around and ask people.

#6. For Sale By Owner Signs

Obviously, seeing properties with FSBO signs suggest that the owner is interested in selling. Your goal is to discern the situation and move forward from there. In most cases, a property with a “For Sale By Owner” sign might have been listed already (at a very lucrative price). Or maybe the owner has not listed it yet, making the property a great off-market deal for you to pursue. As I mentioned before, do not be afraid to approach this potential seller.

#7. For Rent Properties

There are multiple reasons why owners would tend to put their properties for rent in the market. Probably they are now situated in a different area or city, which could be job related, it could be an inherited property where the kids are deciding what to do next and need to cover the present mortgage, or maybe a house flipper had a tough time selling the property and has to cover their private money loan payments. Also, an investor may just take you up on the offer of purchasing the house. A “For Rent Sign” on a property could be for reasons you may not expect. This is where you can ask the owner and see if he/she is interested in selling the property. Since it is only for rent, you can easily tell that the property is an off-market transaction.

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