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Finding homes in a low-inventory market

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I’m sure you’ve heard many people say that they are afraid to list their home because they’re not sure they can find one to purchase.  It’s true that the housing market right now is at record low inventory levels and that finding the right home to purchase can be a challenge.  But if you are working with a Realtor, we have many other avenues of finding you a home than just MLS.  Here are some different strategies Realtors use to make sure you have a home to purchase when yours gets sold.

Make buyer’s purchase agreement contingent on seller finding a home of their choice.

This strategy has you list your home for sale and then start looking for a home to purchase.  In your listing on MLS agents are told that all purchase agreements must be contingent on you, the seller, finding the home of your choice within a certain time frame.  If you do not, you can cancel the purchase agreement or go ahead with it and find temporary housing.

Buy with extended closing times.

Some sellers have the financial assets to purchase a new home without cashing out on the old.  If so, what these sellers can do is go out and write a non-contingent offer on the home of their choice with closing pushed out 60-90 days or more.  In a seller’s market where homes are selling quickly, this allows the them to then go list their home with a good chance they can match up closing dates on both the purchase and the sale and not have to own two houses at the same time.

Networking with other agents/past clients.

Another common way to find homes for sale that aren’t currently listed is to have your Realtor network your needs to other agents or past clients.  Odds are that another Realtor has a home getting ready to be listed that might fit your needs, or possible a past client does.

Artificial intelligence.

Finding a home that fits your needs is much easier if you’ve narrowed down your search to a specific area.  In the Minneapolis/St. Paul real estate market, agents have access to applications through their MLS system that allow them to look at homes in an area and find out which homes are likely to sell in the next six months.  Your agent can then contact those homeowners and see if they are looking to sell and if the home matches what you’re the buyer are looking for.

Expired/withdrawn listings.

Many homes get listed but do not end up selling for any number of reasons.  By searching MLS for these properties your Realtor may find a home that matches your needs that the owner is still interested in selling.


This is a very common method of finding a home when you the buyer has narrowed it down to a specific area.  Through tax records, your agent can estimate the price of homes and see if they match size requirements and then mail those homeowners to see if they would be interested in selling.

Door knocking.

Again, you can’t do this city-wide.  So like mailings, if you have a specific neighborhood you are wanting to purchase a home in your Realtor can go out and start knocking on doors and see if that homeowner is interested in selling or if they possibly know someone who is.

Rental property owners.

Through tax records your agent can determine which homes are being rented.  Many of these owners may be interested in selling these homes because they don’t want to be landlords anymore.

For-Sale-by-Owner (fsbo’s).

Your agent will also be looking for fsbo’s that match your needs.  These owners are almost always willing to work with agents and their buyers in selling their home.  So, if you see one that might work let your agent know and have them coordinate a showing.

As you can see there are many ways to find your next home and coordinate the purchase with the sale of your home.  So, if you’re not seeing a home that interests you on MLS and you’re thinking you shouldn’t sell because of that, Contact Minneapolis area Realtor Dan Kokesh to come up with a plan for your move.


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