Author Topic: Real estate shopping beyond MLS  (Read 3382 times)

the fixer

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Real estate shopping beyond MLS
« on: March 20, 2014, 10:57:34 PM »
Since I've seen several questions about this, and I'm also just beginning to learn about it, I thought I'd share two stores of real estate leads I've pursued recently that didn't pan out, but should be good examples of ways to find deals.

The first was a Craigslist ad we saw for a unit for rent in a duplex in one of the neighborhoods we've targeted. The ad stated that the unit was only available month-to-month because the owner wanted to sell within the next year. This sounded good to us... maybe the owner would be interested in selling now if they got a tempting offer? The ad made it clear that a property management company was running the place, so trying to contact the owners through them seemed like a dead end. Through the county assessor's website we found the name of the LLC that owned the property. We then looked through public records available online to figure out who we could contact, and left a message on their voicemail asking if they would be interested in entertaining an offer. It turned out the duplex was on a very large plot of land that the owners wanted to sell all together, which made the property out of our price range. I made sure to thank the owner for calling me back, and that was the end of that.

The second was an idea I got from reading Gamergirl's journal here on the MMM forum, someone who lives pretty close to me. From the stories she's told about the property she's renting it's obvious that her landlord is totally disinterested in maintaining it, and may now have a negligence suit on her hands. This seemed like someone who might be interested in getting rid of her property quick. I contacted Gamergirl to get more info about the property and how to contact the owner, but since then my focus on neighborhoods has shifted northward.

I would be interested in hearing other stories of leads people have gotten, maybe it will inspire the rest of us.

arebelspy

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Re: Real estate shopping beyond MLS
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2014, 07:26:14 AM »
Great ingenuity!  They may still be worth pursuing, since they're off market you may be able to get a great deal and then just flip the contract (aka wholesale them) to another investor who wants the large plot of land, or likes that neighborhood, respectively.

I've had a lot of success networking with other investors - at local REIAs and online, leading to multiple flips, note purchases, and even a few buy and holds.
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arebelspy

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Re: Real estate shopping beyond MLS
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2014, 07:43:54 AM »
Article on the BiggerPockets Blog today: http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2014/03/21/ways-to-look-for-investment-properties/

A little light on details, but a good place to start.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

mandydean

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Re: Real estate shopping beyond MLS
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 11:42:42 AM »
We have some friends who were house-shopping after just moving to our town. They made a list of houses that they just liked the looks/location of (but weren't on the open market), gave the list to their realtor who sent letters out to all the homeowners. I think she told me there were close to 100 homes on the list. The letter simply complimented the house and asking if they'd be interested in selling it. They got a surprising handful of responses that indicated interest in selling - apparently there are plenty of people who would like to sell but figure they don't have a shot at it, or wouldn't get the price they wanted, considering the market in our area. I think they wound up buying a house that was on the market, but it was an inspiring idea. Especially if you have your heart set on a particular neighborhood or something.

SDREMNGR

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Re: Real estate shopping beyond MLS
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 06:15:54 PM »
When I first started, I mailed unsolicited offers to owners of apartments that were good condo conversion candidates.  Did it for 2 months and mailed hundreds of letters.  Got only 1 deal but it was lucrative enough to pay for the effort.  Now a days I'm too lazy to work that hard.  MLS deals can be found periodically, especially in down markets.

arebelspy

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Re: Real estate shopping beyond MLS
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 06:20:48 PM »
When I first started, I mailed unsolicited offers to owners of apartments that were good condo conversion candidates.  Did it for 2 months and mailed hundreds of letters.  Got only 1 deal but it was lucrative enough to pay for the effort.  Now a days I'm too lazy to work that hard.  MLS deals can be found periodically, especially in down markets.

Yup.  Direct marketing is huge.

It definitely takes work though, and I agree that MLS deals can be found at certain times in the market cycle.  Until you know what you're doing though and know your market in and out, it can be hard to call when that is. And even then you have to get past the psychology of it.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.