How Buying or Selling a Home Off-Market Works – That’s how I got my vacation rental!

buying or selling a vacation rental off market

Some home owners wanted to sell their property quickly and easily. They mentioned this to my family, who told me. One month later, I had a vacation home property that is truly my second home.

This was in Maine, where I hired a lawyer to review documents and take care of the title transfer and escrow.

In California, the process can be equally as simple only different. Buying or selling off market, we take you through a process that ensures everything is in order as far as inspection reports, title, and all other aspects of a home sale and purchase.


What is selling off market?

Selling off market (also called a “pocket listing”) is a way to sell your home or rental property quickly to a pre-approved or cash buyers to avoid the hassle of making it picture perfect for the MLS.

Buying off-market properties is a chance to find your perfect home or investment without the competition that comes from an on-market sale.

Selling off-market has its pros and cons as does buying off-market properties.

The Pros of Selling a House Off-Market

  • Selling off-market directly to a buyer can make for a fast sale while you can stay in your house during the escrow.
  • You don’t need to fix it up / decluttering the way you might need to if listing it on the MLS.

The pros of buying an off-market house are primarily that you have the opportunity to buy a property without worrying about other buyers making offers. This doesn’t mean you are getting a better price than if a property had been on the market!

(When working with buyers, I make a point when evaluating off-market properties to closely evaluate the value of the property.)

The Potential Cons of Selling a House Off-Market

  • You might get a higher price by listing your property to sale on the MLS, as there would be more people seeing and writing offers on your house. A brokerage is only allowed to promote an off-market property to agents within that brokerage.
  • Selling off market is a more casual process than going to market. You won’t have timelines and deadlines to light a fire under you to get rid of stuff and find somewhere to move. (But if you already have somewhere to move or are planning a nomadic lifestyle — perfect!)

How does selling a home off-market directly to a buyer work? 

First off, know there is no obligation to sell by meeting with us to discuss the possibility of selling your home or rental property directly to a buyer. 

  1. We meet at your property to get acquainted, learn about your house and discuss your  goals and timeframe for selling. 
  2. We provide a comparable market analysis (CMA) report after getting to know your property.

    You decide if you would like to sell your house to a buyer “off market” without listing it on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). 
  3. We sign a buyer agreement that says if we bring a buyer who buys the house, you’ll pay a commission from the sale proceeds.

    The agreement specifies that we represent the buyer and that it is not a “listing agreement” to sell your house on the open market. 
  4. You arrange legal representation for yourself, usually another licensed real estate agent or a real estate lawyer, to make sure your interests and concerns are fully addressed in the sale.

    Plan your move: You may also want to consult with a real estate-savvy tax accountant or planner at this time to take advantage of laws such as:

    • California’s Proposition19 (also known as the The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act
    • National 1031 exchange laws, which may help you defer taxes on the sale if you have been renting your property out. 
  5. You decide if you would like to make any updates to the house that may help increase the sale price. For example, a fresh coat of paint, cleaning up the garden, a deep house cleaning, deferred maintenance, and important repairs.

    I have access to vendors and programs to help you take care of much of the above. Not major construction but those items that will make your home sell for highest price and be “move-in ready.” 
  6. We reach out to our network of buyers who are eagerly searching for a home like yours—and who can pay with cash or who are pre-approved and ready to make an offer you can’t resist.

What if our buyers don’t buy your house after you have gotten it ready to sell?

If our buyers don’t buy, well you have a house that is updated that you might choose to list on the market or stay and enjoy yourself!

Let me know any questions!

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