Last updated on August 30th, 2023 at 08:54 am

Buying a house can be an extremely daunting task, especially if you have your eyes set on a property that’s not even on the market.

But don’t fret, it is still possible to purchase an off-market home. 

We will take you through everything you need to know about making an offer on a house that’s not for sale. 

From finding off-market homes to making an offer without a realtor, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ve also included some tips and tricks to help you land the deal, including checking canceled, expired, and withdrawn listings, using Facebook to find unlisted homes, and sending a letter to the homeowner expressing your interest in their property.

So sit back and read on as we guide you through the process of buying your dream home that’s not even for sale!

How to Make an Offer on a House That's Not For Sale

To successfully make an offer on a house not for sale, start by researching the property and its owner to comprehend their situation and motivations. 

Follow up with a personalized offer letter that showcases why your proposal is advantageous for the homeowner. 

Be prepared to negotiate and seek support from a real estate agent experienced in off-market transactions, as this can improve your chances of success. 

Did you know that 93% of realtors prefer to communicate through text.

Ensure you have financing in place so that you can move quickly if your offer is accepted. 

Remember, contingencies such as home inspection or appraisal may be necessary before proceeding towards closing, so always keep documentation handy.

Can You Buy An Off-Market House

Off-market houses, not publicly listed for sale, can be purchased through other channels. These homes aren’t on MLS or are for-sale-by-owner.

 You can find a house that’s not for sale by researching the neighborhood, talking to neighbors, and looking for signs of a homeowner who may be interested in selling. 

To find them, work with a real estate agent or network with property owners. But be prepared for more negotiation and due diligence than buying a listed property.

Most sellers will say no

Prepare for rejection as most homeowners are not interested in selling.  

If you can’t take rejection; consider having someone else do this for you!

Personalize your outreach and express interest in buying their off-market property.

Remember that purchasing an off-market home may involve more extensive negotiations than a publicly listed one.

To increase chances of success when buying off-market properties, consider working with a buyer’s agent or experienced real estate investors

Further still, work with pre-approved financing from a mortgage lender and have contingencies and earnest money prepared for appraisals and home inspections.

How do you approach the owner about buying the house

Approaching the owner about buying a house that’s not for sale can be a delicate process. It’s important to start by researching the property and the current homeowner. 

Try and gain an understanding of their situation and motivation for selling. If you can develop rapport with the seller, that will go a long way.

Once you have an idea of their personal situation, it’s best to approach them with a polite and respectful letter. Let then know you love their property and have in interest in buying it form them.

Be sure to highlight how you believe the purchase could benefit both parties and offer a fair price based on market value.  

Finding Off-Market Homes

Finding off-market homes is not an easy task but can be accomplished with some creative thinking. 

It’s always best to work with a real estate agent who knows the local market, including pocket listings that aren’t advertised on MLS or other listing sites. 

You can also utilize online resources such as Zillow or Rocket Mortgage to search for unlisted homes. 

Attend open houses and join community groups to network with potential sellers. Social media platforms like Facebook are also great tools for finding off-market properties. 

Make your offer stand out by providing a compelling reason for the homeowner to sell off-market.

Don’t limit yourself to houses. You might see an empty lot that would be perfect for your new house. Owners might be willing to take a sweet cash for land deal. 

Checking Canceled, Expired, and Withdrawn Listings

Canceled, expired, and withdrawn listings can be an excellent way to find off-market homes when looking to buy a house that’s not for sale.

According to,  2% of homes were delisted from the market in 2022.

These listings might indicate that owners were unhappy with their listing agents or market response or had a change in plans. 

Therefore working with a skilled real estate agent who has access to these types of listings is crucial as they know how to approach homeowners professionally. 

By checking canceled, expired, and withdrawn listings you can increase your chances of discovering your dream home which may not have been listed yet.

Remember if you find an expired listing and enter into a purchase contract, you won’t be responsible for a commission or fee paid to a realtor.

Using Coming Soon Listings

To find off-market homes, savvy cash home buyers can utilize “coming soon” listings that real estate agents use to test the market before officially listing a property.

These pre-listing opportunities give buyers a chance to view and make an offer on properties before they become available publicly.

A knowledgeable agent with access to these listings can help navigate the process for buyers interested in off-market homes.

Asking Friends and Family

One effective way to find off-market homes is by asking friends and family if they know of any available properties for sale.

Communicating your specific wants and needs in a property with them could lead to valuable leads through their connections in the real estate industry.

This approach could increase your chances of finding potential homes that are not listed on MLS or other online platforms.

Using Facebook to Find Unlisted Homes

Discovering potential off-market properties can be done through Facebook. By joining local groups or creating your own, connecting with homeowners who might sell their homes is possible.

The social media platform’s marketplace feature can likewise yield results even if the property isn’t listed elsewhere. 

Building relationships with industry professionals and going to events enhances chances of finding off-market opportunities.

Approach homeowners respectfully and have a solid offer on hand when buying an unlisted property.

Sending a letter to buy the home

Are you looking to buy a home but can’t find one that suits your needs?

Sending personalized letters to homeowners expressing your interest in purchasing their off-market homes is an effective way of finding unlisted properties.

Respectfully approach owners who may be interested in selling their homes, be prepared with solid offers and work with real estate agents specialized in off-market homes who can facilitate the buying process.

Networking with real estate professionals, attending community events, and joining local Facebook groups are some ways of finding off-market homes.

Communicate effectively and detail your specific wants and needs in a home to increase your chances of finding the right property.

Making an Offer Without a Realtor

Research the property and owner before offering. To make yourself stand out as a serious buyer, get pre-approved for a mortgage and seek legal assistance.

Consider sweetening the deal with incentives like a flexible closing date or waiving contingencies. 

Respectful communication with the seller can strengthen your relationship and increase chances of acceptance. Remember without a realtor nobody will be subject to commissions.

With stiff competition in hot markets like Dallas and Houston, working with real estate investors may provide access to pocket listings.

In summary: conduct research on off-market properties to uncover untapped opportunities for home buyers.

Land on Your Offer Price

Landing on the perfect offer price should be your goal. To do this, you’ll need to research everything from adjacent listings and recent sales data to factoring in variables like location and property condition.

You’ll also need to understand how stiff competition can affect your bottom line during a bidding war. If your selling a house in Houston, TX you can check to get data on the marketplace.

By working with experts like realtors or mortgage lenders who specialize in off-market homes, you can gain access to unlisted homes that are more likely to meet your needs as a serious buyer.

Document the Details

When you’re trying to buy a house that’s not for sale, documenting the details is vital.

Your offer should include the purchase price, financing details, and contingencies.

Make sure to be concise and clear in your language so all parties involved understand the deal. Having a lawyer review your offer before submission helps ensure its legality.

In this competitive housing market,  stay ahead by having a preapproval letter from a mortgage lender or seeking legal assistance from a knowledgeable real estate agent.

Remember that even in off-market listings or when buying an unlisted home, documentation is key.

Include Contingencies and Earnest Money

Include contingencies that protect your interests. One way to show the seller you’re serious about buying is by offering earnest money as a deposit.

This can help strengthen your offer and prove that you’re committed to closing the deal.

To ensure all legal requirements are met before making an offer without a real estate agent or buying in a buyer’s market or seller’s market, consult with a real estate attorney.

Don’t miss out on buying your dream home because you didn’t take proper precautions.

Make Your Asks and Lay Out Timeline

Communicate effectively with the homeowner or real estate agent. Lay out a timeline to ensure all parties move forward smoothly.

Additionally, outlining your expectations will allow the seller or their agent to understand what you’re looking for in a home purchase.

It is always a great idea to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate before committing anything legally binding. They can even write up the contract for you!

Include Any Addenda and Deliver the Offer

When delivering an offer for a home not listed on MLS (off-market), include any necessary contingencies such as appraisals and inspections.

Documentation should be clear and delivered promptly to the seller or their representative. 

Confirm receipt of the offer with full understanding of its terms. 

As you finalize transaction details like closing date, escrow account, earnest money deposit amount, etc., always make sure your interests are protected by making it contingent on home inspection results.

Buyer’s may be responsible for attorney and title search fees!

Sign the Agreement and Make Contingent on Home Inspection

When buying a house not for sale without a real estate agent’s help, make sure to sign an agreement with the seller. 

This document outlines all necessary terms and conditions of the transaction. Protect yourself by adding contingencies like a home inspection that can help you find any concealed issues in your potential new home and let you address them before closing. 

Hire an experienced home inspector who can provide you with an unbiased opinion on your purchase. If any issues arise during inspection, negotiate with the seller to either fix them or adjust your purchase price accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Research comparable properties to determine a fair price. Hiring an attorney or real estate agent can provide valuable negotiation assistance. Prepare for rejection by having backup options available. 

Open communication and respectful behavior towards the homeowner is crucial. Utilize additional resources like forums, podcasts, and books for further guidance.

Making an offer on a house that’s not for sale requires patience, persistence, and knowledge of the right channels to find such properties.

Understand that most sellers will say no, but there are ways to find off-market homes. 

Checking canceled, expired, and withdrawn listings, using coming soon listings, asking friends and family, and using Facebook are some effective ways to locate unlisted homes. 

Once you’ve found a property that you’re interested in, making an offer without a realtor involves landing on your offer price, documenting the details, including contingencies and earnest money, making your asks and laying out the timeline, including any addenda and delivering the offer. 

Don’t be afraid to make an offer on a house that’s not for sale.

The deed will be transferred to you after all the documents have been signed and the money has been wired!