If you are shopping for a home in Portland right now, you are probably finding that inventory is very tight. Certain neighborhoods in particular are extremely hot and finding a home can be terribly frustrating. Real Estate Expert Tammy Beckley shared some tips that can help you and your broker go above and beyond the usual methods to search for a home to buy when inventory is this low!
Think outside the box. You may need to go after homes that aren't listed for sale. Here are four ways to do that:
1. Look for "expired" and "withdrawn" or "cancelled' listings
Many homes have been listed in the recent past but expired or were withdrawn because they failed to sell because they were overpriced at the time or just sat on the market and the Seller got tired of the selling process. Possibly their last list price seems like a valid price today or they are still interested in selling? Chances are, the owner doesn't realize how much the market has picked up and might still be open to selling the home. Contact the owner expressing your interest in purchasing the property. This is probably the best way to go about finding a home that isn't listed during a time of tight inventory.
2. Don't ignore overpriced listings
Sellers can be unrealistic about their home's price, especially in this tight market. Many sellers won't reduce their home's price, but they will sell it at a lower price. Consider looking at homes in a price range higher than where you are shopping, but that have been on the market for an extended period of time and see how negotiable the sellers may be now that their home has been sitting on the market for so long. It's worth a shot, but also don't get your hopes up to high on any one home.
3. Off-market or pocket listings
Some homeowners want to sell but don't want to or can't list. Maybe they simply don't want the hassle of keeping a clean home and dealing with showings. Or perhaps they're just very private. Especially in the luxury market, some owners just don't want to publicly list their homes.
In many markets, real estate agents regularly network with each other about potential deals. Some areas have dedicated websites for agents to share off-market properties, also known as "pocket" listings. Also, brokerage firms generally release upcoming listings to their agents a few weeks before they hit the MLS.
4. Check rental listings
Here's why: The owner may have lived in the home at some point but had to move for a job transfer, divorce or life change. At that time, their home could have been underwater or the market simply wouldn't support the asking price. Instead of listing it they just decided to rent it and "ride it out" for a couple of years. Their current tenant might have given notice and, without knowledge of the changing market, the owner simply wants to rent it again. Go see the home. If you like it, find out if the owner would be open to selling. Make it easy for them, and they may be on board.