Is it even possible to buy a house that’s not on the market? The subject came up this week and I think it’s important to address it to potential buyers. We’ve had buyers that have looked at dozens of homes and nothing seems quite right. So is it even possible to buy a house that’s not for sale?
Perhaps you’ve driven by a house for years that you absolutely love. Maybe it’s been on your radar for some time but has never quite had that sign in the front yard yet. So how do you approach the homeowner without being right off with a shotgun?
It’s important to have your own agent even if you plan on buying a house that’s not for sale. Having your own agent will give you the know-how, knowledge, and experience to put in a solid offer and to negotiate on your behalf. Your buyer’s agent will likely negotiate with the homeowner if a sale is even possible.
If the property is occupied, chances are you’ll have to just knock on the door and talk to the homeowner. Most letters that are mailed are simply ignored. People don’t want to think that you are just one of those “we will buy your ugly house” letters. It doesn’t seem real or genuine. The best way is to simply approach the homeowner. You are driving by one day and noticed they are out gardening. This is a great way to strike up a conversation and talk to them about the house.
What if you’ve never seen the inside?
We’ve helped a lot of buyers that love the outside of the house and have seen it for years but as soon as they step inside, all of those dreams vanish. It’s nothing like they thought it would be. Either they are too many updates that are needed, the kitchen is too small, or there are not enough bedrooms. But, a good real estate agent should be able to pull up tax records and find out the basic logistics of the house such as how many square feet, how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and the general layout. But, only going through the house yourself will give you a better idea of what you are dealing with.
First of all, be ready for rejection. People might be flattered to think that you want to buy their house, but they might also be insulted. Some people have sentimental and nostalgic ties to their house and money just can’t compete. Even if you plan on offering cash without an appraisal, some people are just not in the mood but, it could be the start of planting the seed and later on down the line once they have considered it, they may end up selling at that time. If they think someone is really interested in the house, it may be more of an incentive to sell.
Have your real estate agent write up a genuine offer with either an inspection and/or appraisal contingency. The sellers may reject it right off the bat, but the offer with them could help them mull over the idea. They can do their own research and may come back to you with a counteroffer. Sometimes just the idea of someone being interested in buying their house is enough to get the ball rolling. But, they could reject your offer altogether and simply list the property for a different price or with a different agent.
The idea is to be genuine, consider it and reasonable. If you’d like to get the ball rolling on your end, give us a call. We are happy to do some research on a particular house in the Sunset Beach area or surrounding community and help you find the true home of your dreams.