Finding the Hard to Find Home

Restored Cape Cod Farmhouse

Sometimes no matter how hard you look, the ideal home is not on the market when you are ready to buy.

What can you do?  Answer:  Think creatively. 

Some homeowners would like to sell, but are reluctant to do so until they feel the market has recovered.  They sit on the sidelines patiently waiting for the right time.  If they were approached by a potential buyer, they would be happy to show their home--and to consider an offer.

How do you find those willing home sellers?

*Ask your favorite Realtor or choose one who is a neighborhood expert.   Many Realtors have already met with homeowners to view homes and to provide pricing data.  They may know of homes that will be available some time in the future.  They can set up a one time showing for you to view the home.  These homes that could be offered for sale but are not yet listed are sometimes called "sleeve" listings or "pocket" listings.  My guess is that there are more of these type of listings available right now.  In a time where homes are selling more quickly, homeowners are less likely to wait to sell their homes.

*Check Zillow for the "Make Me Move" homes.  These are properties where the owners have raised their hands and said, "I will sell if I am offered the right price."  These appear on the Zillow website as a blue house icon.

*Look for the expired listings.  Depending on your area, you may need the help of a Realtor to access this data.  Some sellers have tried unsuccessfully to sell their homes and have taken their homes off the market to wait.  You can research the desired area and price range to find those homes that match your criteria, but did not sell during the allotted time frame.  In many of those cases, the owners will still be willing to sell.

Do you have other ideas on finding the perfect home?  Why not share them here?


  1. Internet marketing is becoming more and more necessary with home sales, another great idea is to find a national FSBO website that offers listing where home buyers can also find their dream home.
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