You might be in the market to buy a new home and have been searching the MLS system for a while. It's possible you have placed several bids on homes and might have missed out due to the stiff competition and bidding wars that often happen. You and your real estate agent do have another means of potentially finding your dream home, however, by searching for not-listed or off-market homes.
They are also known as pocket homes, and these homes are not listed on the MLS system. They could provide a better chance at buying your dream home since fewer people will bid on them. Here are some ways to find off-market homes for sale.
Have Your Real Estate Agent Contact Potential Sellers
It doesn't always get results, but one of the more effective ways to find off-market or pocket homes is by having your real estate agent contact potential sellers directly. This means that they cold call or send postcards or mailers to those houses you might be interested in buying. They let the homeowner know that if they are interested in selling or have decided to sell their home, that there is already an interested buyer.
You could also have your agent create an advertising campaign for you to target other potential homes for sale in your area. This could be flyers sent to homes in the neighborhood of your choice or bus shelter ads, as well as a direct mail campaign. Bear in mind, it will cost you a bit of money to go this route, but it is also very possible you will receive several leads on homes for sale that are not yet listed on the MLS, giving you the greater potential to buy it.
You could potentially find homes for sale that are not yet listed on the MLS system through real estate selling websites. These sites do allow sellers to list their homes there for a while before the house is listed on the MLS system. This means that if you are searching these sites on a daily basis and narrowing your search down to only those not yet listed on the MLS, you could find your dream home and not have to worry about a bidding war.
There are other websites you could search that are dedicated to homes for sale by their owner, where many aren't listed on the MLS. Do your research to find what websites work best for you, and talk it over with your agent too.