It happens to many homebuyers at some point. You fall in love with a house only to find out someone else has already put an offer on it or it's not for sale at all. However, just because a home is not on the market doesn't necessarily mean you can't buy it. Here are your options for purchasing a home that seems unavailable.
Inquire About Selling
There's nothing written in the rules that says you can't approach a homeowner about selling their home if it's not listed for sale. Therefore, even if the home you want doesn't have a realtor's sign on the lawn, knock on the door and let the owners know you're interested in buying.
You never know what's going on in a stranger's life. The owners may want to sell but are waiting for the right time to list the property or they may be on the cusp of foreclosure and looking for a way out. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to inquire about the possibility of buying. The worst that can happen is the homeowner says no.
However, you can increase your chances of getting a yes answer by searching to see if the home was ever listed on the market in the past and removed. Sometimes homeowners will try to sell their houses but move onto different paths if they don't get any offers. A previous listing may mean the owner is still interested in selling and just waiting for the right offer.
Be aware, though, it may take some time for the homeowner to move out if they do agree to sell the house. So you may need to be flexible with your move in date.
Submit a Backup Offer
Sometimes the reason the house isn't on the market is because another buyer beat you to the punch and got their offer in before you could. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a done deal though. Home sales fall through all the time for a variety of different reasons, such as poor inspection results and loss of financing. So one way to put yourself into the direct path of good fortune is by submitting a backup offer.
Essentially, you're offering the homeowner a second chance to sell the house should things go awry with their current transaction. If the first buyer can't follow through with the sale, the homeowners will come knocking on your door to make a deal.
Make sure your financing and other important issues are settled and ready to go when you get the word from the homeowners. You don't want to lose your dream house because you're unprepared.
For help securing the home of your dreams, contact a real estate agent.