The decrease in housing inventory has frustrated buyers looking at homes that are not yet on the market, and more are expected to turn their eye toward unlisted properties as the for-sale inventory continues to decline. These “back-pocket” deals increasingly involve lower-priced homes, whereas they once were relegated to upscale dwellings that buyers and sellers wanted to keep under wraps. Agents say some owners are hesitant to list because they fear their homes will not move in the down market. Some of these deals involve unsolicited bids, referrals, homeowners who pulled their homes off the market when they did not sell, and homeowners who have put their homes up for rent rather than try to sell them. CoreLogic reports that in January, there was one home in the “shadow market” for every two homes on the market. Minneapolis-based agent Cindy Froid says agents need to employ creative strategies to find sellers these days, calling the process “hunting and gathering.” Some firms have internal, premarket listing services that detail homes that may soon hit the market or public forums that allow buyers to spell out their preferences. Buyers also should contact agents who work in their neighborhoods of choice, as they likely know which homes will go on the market before they are listed.
| Read More