Buying a house used to include instantly going to the multiple listing service, or MLS. That was, of course, before the Internet. As more information and options have become available, people are now thinking outside the box when it comes to seeking off-market real estate offers.

If you read about real estate investment properties for sale before they hit the market, take a look at some of these unique ways to find them. These eight strategies will help you outsmart your competitors, spend less time negotiating, and achieve your goal of actively investing in real estate without relying on the MLS.

1. Make networking a priority.

Relationships are at the heart of business. Networking with people who are in the know is one of the finest methods to find off-market real estate investing deals.

When it comes to off-market assets, the perfect networking method gives you a proverbial crystal ball. For your business, you should keep a large number of people in your inner networking circle. For starters, you should network with other real estate investors. This may sound contradictory, given that you frequently regard other real estate investors as competition. If you know what you’re doing, they can also be your best resources. You never know when another investor might be able to assist you in locating and working through a project that appears to be out of your league. Furthermore, if you’re requested to join a joint venture, you may be able to participate in larger investments than you could find or do on your own. If you know the right people, deals could literally come to your home.

Furthermore, mortgage brokers are generally the first to learn about homes that are going to hit the market. This is because before advertising a home, sellers frequently call brokers to determine if they qualify for a new home. Attorneys make excellent networking partners since they are generally aware of properties that are about to be sold due to foreclosure, divorce, and other factors. It’s also a good idea to get to know some local plumbers, contractors, and carpenters. These are the experts that can tell when a house is being prepped for sale.

2. Get ahead of the game when it comes to probate properties.

As previously said, having a lawyer contact can be quite beneficial in determining which properties are likely to enter the market soon. You do not, however, need to be a lawyer to find probate properties for your real estate deals.

Because they are sold through a court-appointed representative as part of a will or to satisfy debts, probate properties are sometimes far less expensive than ordinary properties.

Going to your local probate court and asking to meet with the person in charge of probate affairs is one of the simplest ways to locate probate properties. It’s a good idea to request records from the previous six months. You’ll be able to see all open probate cases and directly contact the executor or attorney in charge of the property. You’ll be the first person a potential seller speaks with as a result of this.

A motivated executor may agree to sell a property to you directly in order to minimize fees or prevent losing money while the property is on the market. You can also keep an eye on the obituaries or check at the probate listings in your local paper to see when probate properties become available.

3. Target motivated sellers using direct mail.

Direct mail is an excellent approach to broaden your reach and show potential sellers that you are a personable individual. Of course, if you want to avoid wasting money, your direct mail campaigns must be carefully focused.

The best demographic to target will likely be determined by the area in which you’re looking for real estate bargains. For example, someone trying to buy real estate in the Northeast would target seniors who are going to relocate via direct mail. In this situation, targeting homeowners aged 65 and up might be a wise move. You can send a postcard, a printed letter, or a handwritten letter. The highest response rates are usually found in written letters. That’s why delivering them to a small group of people could be a good way to get the most bang for your buck. Simply identify yourself, ask whether anyone has ever considered selling, and leave your contact information.

4. Reach out to landlords who have just received eviction notices.

Do you want to know where to look for multi-tenant or rental property investment opportunities? Most individuals neglect one aspect of the situation. Human nature is the source of this viewpoint.

When landlords are tired of their obligations and want to sell their properties, for example, that’s your cue to swoop in and make a deal. Eviction records can be used to locate property owners who are eager to sell.

Of course, this strategy may necessitate more digging than other approaches. The local court clerk is usually able to provide eviction records. Because the documents are public, you may be able to access them online. As a result, you can frequently find them on third-party websites. If you’re trying to find the contact information for the landlord you want to market to, you can work your way backwards using a property address.

5. Look through Craigslist

Many sellers want to avoid paying real estate commissions or going through the usual house staging procedure. Some sellers simply want to have a home sold as quickly as possible. These are the people who advertise their properties on Craigslist and other similar websites. Many of the top real estate deals in the US can be found online once you identify folks who are anxious to sell their properties and move on.

If you’re looking for a low-cost, low-commitment way to find off-market real estate deals, check out the property listings on Craigslist in your target area. Negotiating directly with a seller rather than dealing with a local real estate agent might save you a lot of time and money.

6. Buy some web advertising that target customers who are planning to sell shortly.

Packing goods, moving services, rental trucks, and other relevant items are frequently sought by people who are going to sell their homes. You can use terms that aren’t explicitly related to real estate to market to people who are in the early stages of planning a move. Before a possible seller contacts a real estate agent, this could serve to seed an idea about selling directly.

You could also set aside portion of your cash to target people who are delinquent on their property taxes using web marketing. Many folks who have fallen behind are only a few months away from selling their homes. As a result of divorce, there’s also a good chance you’ll be able to get your hands on some great properties. Use divorce-related keywords to catch the attention of folks who are about to embark on a major life shift that will include the sale of a home.

7. Drive about looking for evidence that a seller is eager to sell.

A homeowner has checked out if there is tall grass, dingy siding, missing shingles, overgrown landscaping, or a driveway in serious need of repair. You should be driving around looking for houses that don’t appear to be well-loved. Approaching owners who no longer have the desire, interest, or ability to care for their properties may frequently offer you some of the finest prices on houses for sale. Don’t forget to look for houses that aren’t occupied.

8. Take into account auctions

Is it possible to get a good deal at a real estate auction? Auctions of real estate are not for everyone. They can, however, give fantastic chances if you’ve done your homework and know what you’re doing. The main advantages of purchasing a house at auction are that you will almost certainly receive a significant discount and will almost certainly encounter less competition from other purchasers. True, the buyer pool will most likely be smaller. The pool, on the other hand, will be more experienced. That could be a problem. When buying a home at auction, you’ll also have to deal with additional paperwork and red tape. You won’t be able to get a home inspection or see the inside of the house in person.

When shopping for the best deals on houses for sale, there are a few things to keep in mind.

When looking for the finest deal real estate investors can discover, there are a few mistakes to avoid. When it comes to competitors and talking too much, you’ll certainly need to be cautious. It’s feasible to network while keeping your plans close to your chest.

It’s also critical to ensure you’re not marketing to the wrong demographic. When it comes to marketing initiatives, there’s nothing wrong with starting with a limited, targeted audience. When it comes to finding motivated sellers, casting a wide net isn’t necessarily the greatest strategy. The truth is that people who do not need to sell their homes are difficult to persuade. What you’re actually trying to do is give folks who are already driven a little push.

If you decide to pursue a foreclosure property, you must also conduct due diligence. This entails looking for any existing liens or claims. You’ll also need to make sure there aren’t any people living in the house. Don’t let a lack of adherence to established procedures cost you time, money, and legal difficulties in the future.

Finally, some thoughts

When looking for rock-bottom property deals, getting out and looking at what’s going on in the market near you is a must. However, there is a wealth of information available online that will assist you with each of the points outlined above.

Online resources can assist you with everything from gathering background information on a property to providing you with the tools to negotiate a contract on a wholly virtual level. The website for your local county clerk’s office will be your best resource for locating records about properties that are about to be sold due to legal matters such as inheritance, foreclosure, and more. After that, you can use a website like to use a people-finding service that allows you to discover a property owner’s current address using information from county records.

Even after you’ve done your research and found the ideal property to produce the best deal real estate investors can discover, the Internet can continue to assist you. It will be time to focus on raising funds for real estate deals at this point. You can accomplish so by looking into Kiavi’s bridging loans for property flippers. You can also take a free real estate class to learn how to obtain a good deal on a house without using a real estate agent.