Tips for Buying a Home

How to Buy a House that’s not Listed for Sale

how to buy a house that's not listed for sale

5 Steps to Taking Control of How to Buy a House

  1. Identify neighborhoods and streets that you’re interested in.
  2. Create your home checklist of features that you want.
  3. Use an off-market site to connect with homeowners.
  4. Mail letters to homes you’ve identified and invite owners to connect.
  5. Follow-up and reply immediately to homeowners who send you a message.

1. Identify neighborhoods and streets that you’re interested in

In today’s market, it’s important not to limit your search to only what’s available for sale on MLS. Although homeowners of listed properties have used realtors to advertise that their home is for sale, you never know if a homeowner, of an unlisted home, is thinking about selling in the near future.

Exploring beyond what’s listed, assessing off-market real estate, allows you to not only plan your next property but also dream and set future homeownership goals. Approaching your home search thinking every home is possible, gives you the freedom of choice and better control of your own real estate.

Start by driving within your desired neighborhood, recording every street and specific address that interests you. As you’re touring the neighborhood, take photos using RuListing’s Wishlist and add your own notes to each location. When you’re home, you and your partner can review your list and decide which ones you’re going to pursue.

Keep your Wishlist close by and update it as you discover dream locations and properties, whether on vacation, browsing MLS or perhaps you’re visiting a friend’s house and you love their neighborhood. Imagining that any home is possible, anywhere in the world, means you can build your Wishlist for that special day you’re ready to buy.

2. Create your home checklist of features that you want

Realtors profess that buyers must be prepared to make big compromises when buying a home in a seller’s market that’s plagued with buyer competition over a few meager listings on MLS. However, compromising translates to stress and disappointment, especially if those compromises were true needs.

Yet, exploring off-market properties means that you could locate a home that matches to the majority, if not all, of your must-haves. Start by clearly identifying your checklist, differentiating between your wants and your needs.

RuListing has a must-have checklist within their account profile page that you can work with, edit and store for future reference. You can opt to display your home checklist, such that homeowners can view it and determine if they have a home that matches to what you’re looking for before they contact you.

3. Use an off-market site to connect with homeowners

Basic supply and demand economics are clear. Increasing supply effects price and enticing and connecting with homeowners of unlisted homes can put more supply on the market. Today, buyers are looking for innovation and creative ways to reach out to homeowners and buy before it’s listed and before others have a chance to bid.

Whether it’s knocking on a door or leaving flyers with pictures of family and contact information in a homeowner’s mailbox, buyers are eager to contact homeowners to enquire if they’re thinking about selling anytime soon. Now we have off-market technology that can help put you in touch with homeowners online. enables you to post your interest on a house, street or neighborhood and connect with owners before it’s listed. It uses Google maps to publicly display your interest by location – whether it’s a specific address, street or neighborhood.

Further, if you’re interested in a location, such as a lake or northern location without a specific address, you can use the map to define your own neighborhood with your own set boundaries. If you don’t know where you are, you can geolocate your location for you and you can choose to expand your post beyond that specific location to a wider range.

Only those homeowners with an address that matches to your buyer post can send you a message. This prevents any homeowners outside your posted locations from soliciting you.

4. Mail letters to homes you’ve identified and invite owners to connect

If you send a letter to a homeowner of an unlisted home, it’s important to ensure that homeowners can recognize it’s not from a realtor soliciting business. Realtors can be relentless and homeowners have learned that responding to flyers, letters and door knockers, can result in heavy push marketing campaigns in the future.RuListing has a free personalized member letter that you can print and mail, promoting RuListing as a private buyer and owner site. The letter advises homeowners you’ve posted on RuListing and invites them to connect. For a small fee, RuListing can mail it on your behalf.

5. Follow-up and reply immediately to homeowners who’ve sent you a message

Listed homes are represented by realtors who receive compensation for providing homeowner services. With realtor commissions paid by the homeowner, agents have a vested interest in driving up the sale price. In today’s market, bidding wars are common, as realtors use tactics to get the maximum price over the list.

However, RuListing has a vested interest in buyers and providing services that create opportunities to connect and buy a house that’s not listed for sale before it’s listed on the market and others have a chance to bid.

After you’ve posted and sent letters, it’s important to take full advantage of everything the site offers, staying actively engaged updating your posts, profile and checking your mail.

If a homeowner sends you a message, even if it politely thanks you for your interest, ensure you reply back promptly and thank them for reaching out. Further, why not take the opportunity to invite them to contact you again if they’re ever interested in selling in the future.

To top