What is Off-Market in Real Estate?

what is off market in real estate

Off-market in real estate means that a house is for sale but is not listed on multiple listing services (MLS).  Only licensed real estate professionals will have MLS access so if a house is listed as 0ff-market it may mean that the house is also for sale by owner.  But there are plenty of times when a professional real estate agent may also list a property off-market.

The reason a seller and agent may choose to do an off-market listing instead of the MLS is to protect the client’s privacy or negotiate a higher sales price.

Bonus tip: If you are buying or investing in homes, off-market in real estate means you can access additional inventory that other buyers are not seeing and in many cases access really unique properties.

The term off-market in real estate is not the same as pending or contingent sales, which are still listed on an MLS, but not necessarily active. For example, your home may be considered off-market if it is sold before it is listed or if you sell your home without the help of an agent or broker (FSBO).

To learn more about what is off-market in real estate, we would like to show you the advantages of off-market real estate deals.

The Advantages of Selling Your Home Off-Market

There are a number of advantages to selling a home off-market:

  • Protected privacy
  • Limiting the buyer pool to increase quality
  • Less price negotiations
  • Eliminating unsolicited offers

For example, many celebrities like to sell their home off-market to keep their privacy protected during a major transaction. Additionally, if you have an expensive home and don’t want to waste your time with low-ball offers, an off-market sale can help you find more motivated buyers.

Investors like to purchase off-market homes that are hard to sell through traditional means because they are in disrepair or have an existing lien on them. If you are an investor, you can find a lot of excellent deals in off-market sales that are not open to public and competitive buyers.

Similarly, if you are buying a home, looking into off-market real estate will expand your search and cut through much of the competition in a busy market.

Can you buy a house that is off-market?

Yes, you can buy a house that is off-market. Transactions are no different. Only your access to off-market homes may be limited.

How do you find off-market houses?

You can find off-market houses by:

  • Finding agents who work with sellers that conduct off-market deals.
  • Reaching out to property management companies and investors who specialize in off-market deals.
  • Driving around your local area to find FSBO houses.
  • Getting approached by a seller who is looking for motivated buyers.

How do you sell a house off-market?

To sell a house off-market start by contacting potential investors or private homebuyers that would be interested in your home like celebrity agents, business leaders and property management companies.

Another way to sell a house off market is to place a sign in your yard as this piggybacks on other homes that are listed in the MLS and getting foot traffic, not to mention neighbors that may be interested.

Additionally, social media and Google ads are great places to advertise your off-market home; and don’t forget traditional advertising in newspapers and local magazines.

While you can save money by avoiding an agent, you will be responsible for doing all of the leg work that goes into finding a buyer and making the sale. For many people it isn’t worth the hassle and delay in selling your home. That is why we always recommend hiring a real estate agent. The fees are 100% worth it.

Is off-market on Zillow the same as off-market in general?

Yes, for the most part a home that is listed as off-market on Zillow may be classified as off-market, or the seller may just wish to avoid specific MLS services for their own personal reason. This is normally the case when you see a property listed as off-market on Zillow.  Or it could be someone selling their home without an agent as this will eliminate the seller’s access to the MLS making it technically “off-market”.

You can still contact the owner and find out whether or not the home is for sale, so don’t miss out on a home listed in Zillow just because it says “off-market”. The house is listed there because the owner wants to sell.

Now that you know what off-market in real estate means it is time to either sell your home or get your search on. And once you’re ready to close, our title company will be happy to handle your title insurance, closing and escrow.

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