People are often advised to get creative and think outside the box. But what does this really mean when it comes to shopping for real estate? Well, in this case, you can think of the box as the MLS, or Multiple Listing Service. This is the list that includes real estate properties for sale across multiple real estate agencies. It is a great place to find properties for sale, but it is not the only place. Here are some alternative, out-of-the-box places to look for real estate for sale.
Classified Ad Websites
Although selling a house without a real estate agent is not always a good idea, there are people who attempt to do so. And they typically list their homes on classified ad websites, since doing so is free or very inexpensive. You may also see some homes advertised on the classified sections of social media websites. There are even some social media groups dedicated to buyers and sellers of real estate. Take a few minutes to browse these websites every day, or set up notifications to you get an alert when there is a new ad for a home in your area.
Another way to find homes that are not listed on the MLS is to just drive around the neighborhoods you are interested in living in. Homes that are being sold by owners may just have a "for sale" sign posted in the lawn or next to the mailbox. You may also see some homes being sold by real estate agents that have not been uploaded to the MLS yet but do have a for sale sign freshly posted in the lawn. In a competitive real estate market, this is the time to move on such a home!
Call Local Banks
Call the major banks in your area who offer mortgages. Tell them you are interested in purchasing a home and would like to know about homes that are either in foreclosure or are headed towards foreclosure. If a home is already in foreclosure, you would buy it from the bank. If it is in preforeclosure, which means the owner is behind on payments but has not been foreclosed on yet, you could contact the owner directly and offer to buy the home to get them out of their mortgage.
If you think outside the box, there are many ways to find real estate for sale. Before long, you'll be relaxing in your nice, new house.