Still Looking For Your Dream Home in The Bahamas? Try Exclusive Off-Market Listings
Almost 100% of home shoppers start their searches online, but did you know these search engines don’t return all available homes for sale?
It’s true. There are many more homes available than the ones you see online, so if you haven’t found your dream home in The Bahamas, chances are you’re just looking in the wrong place.
Here’s how it works: homes listed for sale, or listings, are stored in a database called an MLS (Multiple Listing Service). An MLS covers a geographical region and shows all the homes listed for sale—keyword listed. If a seller, however, doesn’t want to list their home on the MLS due to privacy concerns or another reason, or if they have not yet listed it, then the seller's home won’t show up in the MLS —and therefore won’t show up online.
Several home sales happen before a home ever hits the market, meaning you're missing out if you’re relying on searching online alone. Here’s what to try instead:
Hire a real estate agent
It’s not bias! Hiring a real estate agent is the best, simplest, and safest way to access off-market listings. Here’s why:
An expansive network
Great real estate agents maintain good relationships with their past and present clients and are often the first to know when homes are coming up for sale. Once your real estate agent has info about an upcoming listing that matches your must-have list, you might have the opportunity to snap it up before it goes on the market.
An expert real estate agent’s network extends beyond clients, too. Relationships with other agents and real estate agencies provide agents with information about upcoming listings all the time, and that can give you an upper hand. Additionally, if you’re having trouble finding the perfect home in your price range, a great agent can proactively put the word out in their network to find it — even if it isn’t on the market.
Relationships with builders & developers
Looking for a newly built home? Connect with a real estate agent. This is your best bet for finding that elusive new construction dream home if you’ve looked at what’s available online and haven’t found the right fit.
Why? Builders and developers can't list their newly completed homes in the MLS. Instead, they rely on their websites, word-of-mouth, and drive-bys to sell their homes and avoid saturating the market. But good real estate agents have existing relationships with homebuilders and developers, so we know what’s available and can help you find exactly what you’re looking for — even if it isn’t listed yet.
Real estate industry expertise
In the next section, we’ll discuss some other unconventional methods of finding off-market listings — but here’s why you should still navigate them with a real estate agent by your side.
Expert real estate agents spend much time and energy developing their skills, knowledge, and expertise to best serve clients and their communities. That means we understand the complex and detailed processes that comprise every step of a real estate transaction, and we’re prepared to solve unexpected problems when they arise. Additionally, our experience allows us to spot and alert you to red flags, helping you avoid pitfalls as you navigate your home search and ultimately, your purchase.
It’s not worth the risk to "go it alone" — especially if you’re not using traditional home search channels.
Other ways to find off-market homes
Direct mail is a method in which a letter is sent directly to someone whose home you’re interested in purchasing. Wish you could buy that adorable house you pass every day after work? Send a letter to the owner to find out if they’re interested in selling.
There’s not a lot of risk in doing this, but one thing to remember is what happens if the owner says “yes.” Typically, a real estate agent will guide you through submitting a formal offer with the proper paperwork and legal language, arranging a home inspection and appraisal, and recommending you to an attorney to do the title check and represent you in the conveyancing of the property. If you’re flying solo, you’ll have to do all of that on your own — and doing it wrong can result in costly mistakes, wasted time and lots of frustration.
The upside? Some real estate agents use direct mail as a marketing tactic — so if you’re interested in this, you can ask your real estate agent about it instead of trying to do it yourself.
Word of mouth
Word of mouth is a hit-or-miss method of finding a home to purchase and depends largely on your social network and being in the right place at the right time. It’s never a bad idea to let your friends know that you’re looking to buy and ask them to keep an ear out for anyone thinking about selling in your price range. However, relying on word of mouth alone, as the method of finding your dream home, isn’t ideal.
Instead, tap into your real estate agent’s network. The scope of your search will expand, and you’ll have more interested sellers within reach.
Let’s find your dream home
If you’re looking to buy a home in the local area, we’re your expert team. Our network and experience make us the right choice for your home purchase, and we’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for—even if it isn’t on the market yet.