Buy your dream home, even if it isn't for sale!
Vince Vitrano, Stephanie Graham
Vince Vitrano reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
Jason Abrahamson had been searching for a home for 3 frustrating months.
"I looked at easily 30 properties with different realtors, different companies," Jason recalls.
Then he found his dream home. Only problem? It wasn't for sale. His realtor changed that with a knock on the door. Jason says, "I was very excited to find out the seller was willing to sell the unit after putting in the offer."
Realtor Joe Grunnett says the combinaton of low inventory, high rents and low interest rates - as well as a lack of development in the last four years - is forcing realtors to get creative. Grunnett explains, "Door knocking, making cold calls, sending out direct mails, sending personal letters to sellers. You know, are you open to buying if I have the right buyer?"
Home owners are responding. Cindy Holby hadn't wanted the hassle of putting her house on the market and when her neighbor made an offer she couldn't refuse, she didn't have to deal with the typical drama of selling.
"Having to keep your house clean and having to, you know, vacate it when somebody wants to see it and just living under that pressure. It's just, it's not fun," Cindy says matter-of-factly.
Brendon Desimone is a national real estate expert and columnist for zillow.com. He says while you may end up paying a bit of a premium to convince the owner to sell, you won't end up stuck in a bidding war. "They can actually get in under the radar of other buyers and scoop up a home without having to go through the competitive bidding process."
He warns, before you let a realtor through your front door, make sure he's legit, and has an actual interested buyer.
"Agents are out there, desperate for real estate listings and they will just send out blind letters to a whole bunch of people, trying to get someone who might be interested to actually give them the listing," Desimone warns.
He suggests you ask questions and make sure the buyer is qualified before taking the next steps. A simple bank letter can do that. Cindy says she never would have made the move if she hadn't been asked.
"Just keep your options open and see what they have to say. I mean, you can always say no," she points out.
As for Jason, he is glad his home's former owners said yes. "I was very excited. Pretty much no strings attached. It was, it was great."
Buying off market can also save on realtor fees, but you may have to bring in a real estate attorney to draft the necessary documents before you can seal the deal.