How to Find Off-Market Homes in the Bay Area

Off-market homes never get to the MLS system because they enter escrow before being listed.

There are some perks to buying an off-market home, but you need a strategy to find one in the first place.

Finding Off-Market HomesWhat are the Benefits of Buying an Off-Market Home?How to Find Off-Market Homes in the Bay Area

Though not always the case, buying an off-market home tends to be a smoother process and can offer many benefits, including:

  • Less competition from other offers. Most off-market homes will not end up with a bidding war, allowing you to make the best deal for both of you without worrying about competing buyers. Sellers of off-market homes often prefer a discreet, low-stress process to open houses, multiple showings, and bidding wars.
  • A less rushed process. Owners of off-market homes are generally not in a rush to sell, meaning you may be able to find a timeline that accommodates each of your needs better than a typical escrow period.
  • Additional inventory is available. In this hot sellers’ market, facing so few choices and many buyers alongside you can be overwhelming. By opening up your options to off-market homes, you add more inventory to your list of potential homes. If you are willing to make an attractive offer, many sellers are eager to sell that were not previously ready to list.

Why are Houses Off-Market?

There are a variety of reasons a seller may choose not to list their home, including:

  • Not wanting to alert tenants that the property will soon be listed.
  • The seller prefers a pocket listing, where an agent pursues specific potential buyers with the opportunity to buy the home. This allows the seller to enjoy an efficient selling process, only showing the house to and receiving offers from potential buyers their agent vets.
  • The property may not be available for showings for various reasons.

Finding Off-Market HomesSteps to Finding Off-Market Homes

1. Work with the Right Agent

The first and most significant factor in successfully finding and purchasing an off-market home is working with the right Agent. It would be best if you had someone knowledgeable about the area and well-connected to the local network of realtors.

2. Know about “Coming Soon” Properties

You may have noticed that some listings are labeled “Coming Soon” when browsing properties online. This means the seller and their Agent are either gauging buyer interest or hoping for an off-market sale.

If you see a “Coming Soon” property that interests you, you don’t necessarily have to wait for the parcel to be listed. Contact your Agent and see if they can contact the seller’s Agent directly to coordinate a showing or even negotiate a deal before the property is listed.

3. Check out Alternative Listings and Off Market Listing Services

Though MLS will not have off-market homes listed, some online databases will. These include real estate auctions, bank websites listing foreclosures, and newspapers.

Some off-market listing websites may be worth subscribing to, where sellers can “list” their off-market home without officially putting it on the market.

4. View Public Records

If you don’t mind digging, you may be able to find expired listings on the public record in the area in which you are looking to buy. An expired listing indicates the seller could not sell the home for some reason and took it off the market.

In some cases, contacting the seller directly and asking if they are still interested in selling may work in your favor.


To learn more details, let’s talk with Amar REALTOR®.

Let’s schedule a meeting with Amar REALTOR to review all your Real Estate objectives at a time that works for you.

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Contact Amar REALTOR®  today for more information about Buying/Selling a Home in the Bay Area!

Amar REALTOR® offers expert real estate services with proven results in Bay Area Housing Market, including Homes for sale in Santa Clara County, San Mateo CountyContra Costa County, and Alameda County.

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