Seeking Homes That Aren’t for Sale: Can Real Estate Agents Help with the Emerging Trend of House “Stalking”?

When home buyers have their hearts set on the perfect neighborhood but their simply are no homes for sale in that neighborhood, it can be a frustrating experience.  And with Colorado facing fewer listings of homes for sale (despite housing prices being up), how many people will turn to the emerging process of house stalking to obtain the home they want? While such a thing sounds dangerous, it can sometimes be successful if done in a courteous way.  It’s merely the procedure of providing an unsolicited offer to purchase a home that is not listed for sale.

How to Approach a House That’s Not for Sale

If you see a home you like that has no “for sale” sign out front, you might think about hiring a real estate agent to initiate contact with the owner.  While you could personally mail a note to the people living in the home, it can be better received if you let an agent handle it for you so the home owners don’t think you really are stalking them.   An experienced real estate agent, especially one who is well known in that particular neighborhood, may be the impetus for those homeowners to consider opening up the possibility of selling their home.

Negotiating a Price

If the people in the house you contact make it clear that they don’t want to sell, it’s best to not push an offer. However, if you decide to make an offer it should be a strong one, and consider offering some extras as a thanks for their trouble to seal the deal. This might include allowing the owners to rent the house at a low rate for a set number of months while they find a new home. Also consider paying for upkeep in the immediate term so it doesn’t come out of the initial owners’ pockets.  A real estate agent can help you determine a fair price to offer for the home and they can help with navigating the contractual details involved with purchasing homes in Colorado.

Finding an Unlisted Home on the Internet

If you’re not comfortable driving neighborhoods looking for homes that may not be on the market, try a few internet home searches first.  Rather than contacting a homeowner in person, Zillow.com has a feature called the “Make Me Move” page. Here, those who don’t want to sell their house right away list a home value and what offer they’d want if they did sell. A house stalker can easily scope out neighborhoods that look desirable and perhaps negotiate on a dream house they always wanted.

A real estate agent can still give you an advantage in these scenarios, as the information on these websites is not always accurate and up to date with the most current market sales comparisons- real estate agents can pull real time sales statistics and often know about potential listings that haven’t hit the market yet.  A realtor can usually help you easier land that home you didn’t think you could have.

While house stalking is still a growing trend, our real estate agents are always available here at Housing Helpers to help you with your home search in Colorado. Visit our Colorado Realtors page to find a real estate agent  that specializes in your desired area of Colorado.

About 

Stephanie Iannone, ABR, CNE is a Colorado Realtor, Managing Broker and Owner of the Iannone Real Estate Group and Housing Helpers of Colorado. Named Distinguished Realtor of the Year and Top 25 Salespeople in Colorado by Colorado-Biz Magazine. Stephanie Iannone and her team of experienced real estate agents serve home buyers, sellers, and real estate investors throughout the entire front range of Colorado.
Contact Stephanie:
Stephanie@housinghelpers.com
(303) 641-7484
www.stephanieiannone.com

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