5 Ways to find Homes for Sale in a Low Inventory Market

Posted by Ryan Fitzgerald on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 at 12:02pm.

5 Ways to Find Homes for Sale Raleigh in Low Inventory Market

Can't find the home you're looking for? Does it seem like there just isn't enough options out there for you?

Welcome to the life of many frustrated buyers who feel the same way you do.

There are things you can do that will help you find the home of your dreams, even when it isn't already listed for sale.

Here in Raleigh, we are experiencing a significantly low-inventory housing market, with a large buyer pool. This is causing frustration among buyers for two common reasons:

  1. They can't find a home for sale.
  2. When they do find the right home, it's a multiple offer situation or gone in a day.

If this sounds like you, there are things you can do to help yourself with the help of a Realtor®, to find that perfect house.

Determine Location and Neighborhoods

Determine Location to Find Homes for Sale Low Inventory Market

The first thing you should do is to determine a location before you buy real estate.

By determining the location you can zone in on the neighborhoods you want and begin marketing, communicating, and searching for someone who is selling their home. This is the most important part of the home search. Location is the number one determining factor in price and is the one thing buyers should not sacrifice when purchasing real estate.

There are a lot of buyers who are so afraid of making the wrong decision that they begin to confuse themselves and start searching homes for sale in many different local cities. This is what makes having a great Realtor® by your side so important. 

It's a lot harder to find the best home at a great price when you don't zone in on the neighborhoods you like. 

If there is one piece of advice I could give to anyone buying a house it would be to zone in on a location, neighborhood, area, school, something that will give you the opportunity to 'predict' a great deal vs. confusing yourself with the ambiguity of different zip codes, cities, and schools.

If you're unsure of what to look for in a neighborhood here is a great place to start from MaxRealEstateExposure.com.

Once you have determined a location it's time to start finding a home for sale!

Expired Listings to Find Homes For SaleExpired Listings is a Great way to Find a Home

One of the best ways to find a home for sale, when there aren't any, is to start by examining the people who tried to sell and were unable to. A lot of times people whose homes have expired off the market still want to, or need to sell their home at some point. Start by reaching out to these people.

When there aren't enough options on the market, or if there just aren't any, you need to become resourceful. For instance, the other day we had a buyer connect with us that they couldn't find the home they were looking for in Downtown Raleigh, so we put together a list of expired real estate listings that matched their criteria and asked if they liked any. 

There are a number of reasons why a home expires off the market and it isn't always necessarily because the home is bad. Sometimes it is overpriced for the current real estate market, has a limited buyer pool, or just wasn't marketed correctly. You shouldn't be afraid to buy a home that was once an expired listing because it expired. 

If you want to search expired listings in Wake County in certain locations let us know. We can put together a list of expired listings that match your criteria and help you to connect with the sellers.

Mailing Letters to Find Homes for Sale

Mailing Letters within your Desired Neighborhood/Area

When you mail letters try and engage people in conversation before attacking them with offers. Start with something like "We hope to be moving to the neighborhood soon" and a picture of you and your family vs. writing a generic "we would like to buy your home letter." By putting something interesting and eye catching you'll be far more likely to engage the people who are opening your letters vs. ending up in the trash with all the other marketing mailers.

Finish the letter with an opportunity to continue the conversation whether that is offering your email address or social media profile for them to connect with you. "We would be delighted to connect with you, our email is..." - Give them some way to connect with you.

At the end of the day people want to live next to people they like, so if you can start a conversation, you will have people helping you find a way to move into the neighborhood. Some of the first people to find out about people selling their homes are neighbors whether it's through conversation or looking out the window and seeing a sign go up (sometimes before it's listed for sale with the MLS).

Social Media to Join Groups/Pages

Social Media to find homes for sale low inventory marketIf you're looking at homes for sale in a certain neighborhood there are ways you can connect with potential sellers online. Let's pretend you want to search homes for sale in Cary, NC, specifically within the Cary Park Subdivision. One of the first things you should do is find ways to connect with the people in that neighborhood online.

If you can join a large facebook group you can write on the page informing potential sellers that you're looking to buy in the neighborhood.

A lot of times a simple 'Hi Everyone, My name is Ryan and my family and I are hoping to join your awesome neighborhood. We love the ( list a couple of things you like ). Do you know anyone who is considering selling that you can connect us with? Thanks so much! Ryan"

There have been several deals converted from a social media post like that one, and people using their networks on social media to find a great home, when there aren't many for sale.

Other things you can do include running sponsored facebook ads on a targeted zip code or area. Try a video as they're most likely to engage people!

Door Knocking Homes that Aren't for Sale

Door Knocking Homes to Find Homes for SaleA lot of people don't want to door knock and that's fine, there are other strategies you can use. There's not going to be anything more effective than going home by home and asking people if they are thinking of selling. Because it is the most direct, it's also the one people are most afraid of, because there's a high probability of the owner saying no.

If you really want to find a home for sale in the neighborhood you like, you 100% absolutely, positively, should go door knocking. Drop a card off for them to contact you in case they do decide to sell/know of someone else in the neighborhood who is.

Door knocking is probably the most effective out of all the strategies as it allows you to find the homes you like and speak directly with those owners face to face.

Final Thoughts on Finding a Home for Sale in a Low Inventory Market

Finding great homes for sale isn't always the easiest objective - you should start by determining a location/area and go from there. The location is the most important aspect of purchasing real estate since it's one thing you cannot change about your property. After you've found the location you should start tackling expired listings and see what didn't sell.

Drive through the neighborhoods you like and put together mailing lists/addresses for the houses you especially like and prepare your letter. Mail to these homeowners. You can typically find their names registered with the county real estate website. If you were to search Wake County Real Estate you can find the owner's names here.

After you put together the addresses, names, and have mailed the letters you should feel free to connect with these people on social media, and to join local social media groups/pages. Let the community know your intentions and what you're looking for.

If there are any homes in particular, that you especially like, don't be afraid to knock on the owner's door and ask if they are considering selling their home anytime soon. Maybe it isn't for sale today, and they were planning to list it for sale in the next 6 months. You will at the very least build a connection in the neighborhood even if they don't plan to sell. For those of you that are scared to door knock remember -- it's flattering for owners to hear that someone loves their home so much they wanted to buy it! :)

Ways to Find Homes for Sale Raleigh in Low Inventory Market

Ryan Fitzgerald Raleigh RealtyHi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for building businesses, working out, inspiring others, technology, sports, and people. Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram!

12 Responses to "5 Ways to find Homes for Sale in a Low Inventory Market"

Jay wrote: Wonderful find. This will make my home searching fast. I'm a Broker and i help people find their dream house. Thanks a lot Ryan.

Posted on Thursday, January 7th, 2016 at 1:16am.

Nash Rich wrote: I had never thought about mailing letters within the neighborhood you want to move in to. That's actually a pretty good idea, especially if you put a picture of your family, because then people would probably want a nice family to move in. They may contact you with information about a place near by.

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2016 at 7:21pm.

Bob Lowe wrote: Thanks for the post. I agree that you need to determine what kind of neighborhood or location you want to live in first. like you said that will help to narrow down your search which can save a lot of time. I also agree that having the right realtor can make a huge impact on your search for a home.

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 at 6:03pm.

Kate Hansen wrote: Right now I'm looking for homes for sale, but it's been slightly difficult. I like how you suggest to look at expired listings since a lot of times, these listings were never sold, but still are up for grabs. I've looked at pretty much everything out there and this tip will help me find other options for houses I'd be interested in buying. Thanks!

Posted on Monday, October 17th, 2016 at 11:04am.

Raisa Delima wrote: I agree with what you said about determining location first when searching for a home. If you don't know where you want to move to, you won't be able to see which options are available specifically to you. I think that's the reason why hiring a good realtor in a specific area is really valuable. They have their finger on the pulse of the housing market in that area, so they can help you see what options are out there. We'll make sure to determine our location before we start our search.

Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2017 at 4:57pm.

olivia nelson wrote: I agree that you would want to determine a location before you find a piece of real estate. I would imagine that the advantage of finding a neighborhood first would be that you could research it more in depth. I'm looking for a new home so I'll have to find a neighborhood I like before I start looking.

Posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 at 5:44pm.

Max Jones wrote: We've been looking for a home in a particular area for quite some time now, but none of the available homes for sale have been something we've really liked. I think that knocking on doors to see if anyone is considering selling is a smart idea! If someone is considering putting their home up for sale, they could be more likely to do it if they have someone who's already interested!

Posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 at 1:36pm.

Braden Bills wrote: I've never bought a home before, so I'm pretty new to this. I don't know what to do to find a new home. It makes sense that I would want to start by finding a good neighborhood and checking for homes there!

Posted on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 at 12:22pm.

Raisa Delima wrote: I'm glad you talked about the tendency home buyers have to look for multiple discounted houses in different cities. I could see how it would be better to just search for the areas you are considering most since there isn't much of a point looking in cities you wouldn't actually want to live in. I think we will just hire a realtor to help us out so that we can avoid mistakes like that. I would feel much more at ease knowing we were getting professional help during the home searching process.

Posted on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 at 4:41pm.

Leviticus Bennett wrote: That's a really interesting idea to go door knocking looking for a home in the neighborhood you want. I have experience knocking doors for fundraisers. Doing so to find a house isn't too intimidating for me.

Posted on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 at 11:41am.

Harper Campbell wrote: My husband and I are in the process of looking for a new home, but we need advice on how to look for one. It's interesting to know that when it comes to looking for one we should check out expired listings to see if there are some who still need to sell their homes. This is just a unique approach to the process, but in the end it might be great for us; especially if we are able to get one below our budget.

Posted on Monday, July 3rd, 2017 at 12:12pm.

Malia Davis wrote: I love the idea of connecting with potential home sellers on social media after sending out letters and inquiries. Social media is the fastest way to connect with people, and if it can be used in finding the perfect home for my family, I am all on board. I will have to try this out in some of the neighborhoods we have been looking at so that we can find the right place for us before winter sets in.

Posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 at 12:12pm.

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