The MLS listings can help locate potential investment properties. The problem, however, is that so many people use the listings that competition can be stiff. Additionally, by relying only on the MLS, you limit yourself. While there are many listings in the MLS, there are also many that aren’t. Here are a few ways to find investment properties that don’t involve the MLS.
Reach Out to Sellers Directly
Reaching out to potential sellers is a commonly used strategy for finding investment properties. You don’t want to send mailers blindly, though. Your goal should be to send real estate prospecting postcards to those who might be the most interested. Narrow down who you’re trying to target (whether that’s apartment owners, vacant properties, or properties in foreclosure) and go from there.
Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent
An experienced real estate agent can be an invaluable resource when it comes to finding potential investment properties. While many realtors also use the MLS listings, many also have access to pocket listings. These are listings that aren’t posted to the MLS site yet, which means that fewer people (if anyone other than the realtor) know about them.
Browse Popular Real Estate Websites
Many people searching for potential homes turn to real estate websites like Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, and others. There’s no reason why you can’t use them, too. While many of the properties on these sites also appear on the MLS listings, some aren’t. Instead, they’re for sale by owner. You can set up alerts to get notified when properties that meet your criteria get listed.
Check Out Auctions
Another great option is to check out courthouse auctions. Auctions sell properties that are going through tax sale or foreclosure, and you can often buy them for well below market value. The only catch is that you can’t view the property before you bid.
While the MLS listings are beneficial, they’re not the only way to find potential investment opportunities. To succeed, you’ll have to think outside the listings and try a few other approaches.