how to find off market properties

How To Find Off-Market Properties In Washington: The 3 Best Sources

real estate marketing real estate markets Mar 27, 2024

Are you tired of bidding wars and limited inventory in Washington's hot real estate market? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. The number of opportunities Washington currently boasts has resulted in unprecedented competition over on-market property. As a result, it’s time for investors to turn to another source for deals: off-market properties. These homes aren't officially listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), yet their owners are open to selling. 

This comprehensive guide will teach you how to find off-market properties in Washington. We'll dive into everything you need to know, including: 

In Washington's competitive real estate market, the difference between success and getting squeezed out lies in one essential skill: uncovering off-market properties.

While traditional MLS listings offer a starting point, they're often highly sought after by buyers. This fierce competition drives up prices and limits opportunities to secure properties with attractive profit margins.

Fortunately, there's a solution. Washington investors unlock a hidden world of possibilities by learning how to find off-market properties and buying an investment property. These are deals not accessible to the general public, offering a wider pool of potential acquisitions with potentially better terms and pricing.

This expanded reach, alongside existing on-market skills, creates a powerful one-two punch. You'll have a broader range of opportunities, ultimately enhancing your overall success in the Washington real estate market.

Thinking about investing in real estate? Join Alex Martinez at his FREE training to learn how to get started with house flipping and wholesaling!

What Are Off-Market Properties In Washington?

Off-market properties in Washington epitomize exclusive opportunities for real estate investors, diverging from the mainstream avenues of MLS listings and conventional online platforms. While on-market properties are readily accessible to the masses, their off-market counterparts operate discreetly, circulated through private channels to a select group of potential buyers. More specifically, however, a property off-market is an asset for sale that isn’t listed on the MLS, like those that can be found on social media.

These off-market assets range from distressed properties and foreclosure estate sales to bank-owned holdings, probate sales, and properties belonging to motivated sellers prioritizing privacy. Consequently, off-market properties give investors a distinct edge, ridding themselves of the need to partake in frantic bidding wars.

Opportunities abound for investors adept at uncovering off-market homes. These properties may be undervalued, attract less competition, or boast unique investment attributes. Moreover, off-market real estate deals afford greater latitude for negotiation, enabling investors to tailor deals to suit their investment strategies and objectives. Off-market properties are an invaluable asset for astute investors seeking to unlock hidden potentials and optimize returns in Washington's real estate landscape.

Read Also: Is Wholesaling Real Estate Legal In Washington? A 2024 Guide For Investors

off market real estate Washington

How To Find Off-Market Properties In Washington

Uncovering off-market properties in Washington's competitive market gives investors a severe edge. But fear not; securing these deals isn't limited to real estate professionals and veterans. Here are powerful tools to fuel your off-market property hunt: 

  • BatchLeads

  • ForSaleByOwner.com

  • Zillow


BatchLeads is an all-in-one platform to supercharge real estate investors' hunt for off-market properties. It goes beyond simply finding motivated sellers. Built-in skip tracing tools allow you to unearth contact information, especially phone number for property owners or property managers who might not be actively advertising.

It is worth noting, however, that BatchLeads doesn't stop there. It empowers you to strategically target specific neighborhoods and build targeted lead lists based on on-market and off-market property insights; this means you can identify properties with potential below-market value, even if the owners aren't considering selling.

What truly sets BatchLeads apart is its commitment to investor education. They offer a comprehensive library of resources, including live webinars and an exclusive community, to equip you with the knowledge to turn those leads into deals. So, BatchLeads isn't just about finding properties; it's about empowering you to become a successful real estate investor.


Forsalebyowner.com cuts out the middleman by connecting sellers directly with buyers; this lets homeowners save on Realtor commissions, which can be a significant advantage. Listing your vacant property is easy, and you control the pricing and marketing strategy.

While it doesn't target off-market properties, Forsalebyowner.com shines in its simplicity and reach. It boasts a large pool of potential buyers actively searching for FSBO listings. Plus, you can access tools like unlimited photos and virtual tour hosting to showcase your property effectively.

This platform is ideal for sellers who are comfortable handling some of the selling process themselves and want to maximize their profit potential.

Read Also: What Is FSBO In Real Estate? An Investor's Guide To FSBO Homes


Zillow Premier Agent itself isn't designed to find off-market properties in Washington. It's a program for real estate agents to connect with potential buyers on Zillow. However, a savvy investor can leverage it indirectly.

Here's the twist: Premier Agents often have access to a network of colleagues and resources beyond what Zillow displays. By building a relationship with a Premier Agent in Washington, you might gain insights into upcoming or pocket listings (properties not advertised publicly). The agent, aware of your interest in off-market deals, might connect you with potential sellers by direct mail or flag potential opportunities before they hit the platform.

While Zillow Premier Agent isn't a magic off-market property finder, it can be a bridge to local experts who possess the knowledge and connections you seek. You can potentially gain an edge in Washington's real estate market by partnering with the right agent.

*For in-depth training on real estate investing, Real Estate Skills offers extensive courses to get you ready to make your first investment! Attend our FREE training and gain insider knowledge, expert strategies, and essential skills to make the most of every real estate opportunity that comes your way!

Free Real Estate Investing Training

Alternative Strategies To Find Off-Market Properties In Washington

While BatchLeads, ForSaleByOwner.com, and Zillow Premier Agents offer a powerful starting point, the hunt for off-market properties doesn't stop there. Savvy investors across all experience levels have unearthed hidden gems using these additional techniques: 

  • Engaging With Real Estate Agents & Brokers

  • Networking With Other Homebuyers & Investors

  • Real Estate Auction Websites

  • Local Courthouse & Public Records 

Engaging With Real Estate Agents & Brokers

Washington's competitive housing market holds hidden gems—off-market properties not publicly listed. Unlock these deals by building relationships with local real estate agents, realtors, and real estate brokers. Attend open houses, introduce yourself, and express interest in off-market opportunities. Highlight your qualifications as a serious buyer, perhaps with pre-approved financing. By becoming a trusted connection, you might get the agent's inside scoop on pre-listings or pocket deals by word of mouth before they hit the mainstream market.

Networking With Other Homebuyers & Investors

In Washington's fast-paced market, uncovering off-market deals requires a strong network. Connect with fellow homebuyers and investors whenever you can. Join local real estate meetups, online forums, or neighborhood groups. Strike up conversations with potential partners at open houses. Share your investment focus and inquire if anyone knows of sellers looking for discreet transactions. These connections might reveal off-market properties motivated sellers haven't publicly listed yet. By collaborating and sharing information, you can unlock off-market opportunities before they slip away.

Read Also: 11 Best Platforms For Your Real Estate Social Network

Real Estate Auction Websites

Washington's investor scene thrives on unearthing hidden opportunities. Attend live auctions (or browse online platforms) on different real estate auction sites to discover off-market properties like foreclosures, tax delinquencies, or probate cases. While these deals may require renovation or come with unknowns, the potential discounts can be significant.  Research auction properties beforehand, understand potential issues, and be prepared to act fast. With a strategic approach, auctions can become your gateway to lucrative off-market opportunities in Washington's competitive market.

Local Courthouse & Public Records

Savvy investors can leverage public records, readily available at local courthouses or municipal offices, to identify potential off-market deals involving distressed homeowners facing foreclosure, probate, or tax delinquencies. By scrutinizing these records and performing due diligence, you can often pinpoint homeowners experiencing financial hardship before they even consider selling. This proactive approach allows you to reach out and present solutions they might not have thought of.  Perhaps you can offer a fast cash purchase of your cash flow, or a flexible closing timeline, easing their burden.

Read Also: How To Find Real Estate Deals: The Top 10 Proven Methods

Washington MLS Listings Vs. Non-MLS Listings

Operating in Washington's real estate market requires a multi-faceted approach. While off-market properties offer unique opportunities, savvy investors shouldn't neglect the valuable resources available through the Multiple Listing Service

On-market listings present a vast pool of readily available properties actively marketed by sellers, often motivated and eager to transact; this translates to streamlined negotiations and comprehensive information like property details, if it is a rental property or any type of property, photos, and pricing, allowing for informed decisions. Don't underestimate the potential hidden gems within the MLS. Expired listings, properties lingering on the market, or those labeled "as-is" can signal opportunities for sale price or term adjustments. You can further expand your on-market options by employing strategic approaches like targeting expired listings or reduced properties. 

Remember, off-market strategies are just one piece of the puzzle. Mastering both on-market and off-market approaches unlocks a broader range of real estate investing options and maximizes your potential for success in Washington's dynamic market. 

Read Also: How To Get MLS Access In 6 Ways (Even Without A License)

Pros Of Off-Market Properties

Those who know how to find off-market properties Washington residents want to sell stand to benefit immensely. Here’s a list of benefits for those who know how to work with these unlisted assets:

  • Reduced Competition: Off-market properties fly under the radar, meaning fewer competitors vying for the same property; this translates to a stronger chance of securing a deal on your terms.

  • Favorable Negotiation Power: Sellers motivated to keep things discreet are often open to more negotiation. The privacy of off-market deals fosters a more collaborative environment, potentially leading to better purchase prices and terms than traditional listings.

  • Streamlined Negotiations: Off-market sellers typically have clear goals and timelines in mind; this translates to quicker, smoother negotiations because both parties are focused on a specific outcome.

  • Flexible Closing Timelines: Off-market transactions offer the freedom to customize closing timelines. Forget the traditional 30-day rush! You can work with the seller to establish a timeframe that aligns with your and their individual needs, removing external pressures and creating a win-win scenario.

  • Unique Investment Opportunities: Off-market deals unlock a world of opportunities not readily available on the open market. These investments can offer access to unique assets that perfectly align with your investment goals and provide a distinct advantage over traditional market offerings.

Cons Of Off-Market Properties

Dealing with off-market properties Washington residents intend to sell has its drawbacks as well, not the least of which include:

  • Limited Availability: While off-market properties offer a glimpse into unconventional investment avenues, their limited availability poses a significant challenge for Washington real estate investors. Navigating beyond the traditional market demands a proactive stance, urging investors to step out of their comfort zones.

  • Difficulty Finding Properties: One of the downsides of working with off-market properties for investors is the difficulty in finding these elusive opportunities, requiring extensive effort and resources to uncover potential deals. This challenge stems from the limited visibility and access to off-market listings compared to readily available properties on traditional market platforms.

  • Challenges With Inexperienced Sellers: Engaging in off-market transactions frequently entails dealing with sellers who possess limited real estate expertise, which may introduce distinctive hurdles. Successfully overcoming these challenges demands that astute investors embrace a patient and educational strategy, ensuring a seamless and mutually advantageous outcome.

Final Thoughts On Off-Market Properties In Washington

While off-market properties offer unique advantages, they shouldn't overshadow the vast opportunities available through MLS listings. Savvy Washington investors leverage both approaches. MLS listings provide a steady stream of options, while off-market deals unlock hidden gems. Mastering both on-market and off-market strategies creates a well-rounded approach, maximizing your potential for success in Washington's real estate market.

Ready to take the leap towards financial freedom and escape the constraints of the antiquated 9-5 routine? Look no further. Contact Real Estate Skills today and unlock the door to a world of opportunities in the real estate industry. Whether you're eager to explore the lucrative field of wholesaling or rehabbing, our comprehensive courses and expert guidance will set you on the path to a wholesaler’s success.

free real estate investment training

Unlock Our FREE Webinar Training

Founder & CEO of Real Estate Skills, Alex Martinez, reveals the systems and processes used to wholesale and flip houses without doing any marketing!

  • Completely FREE training video.
  • No prior experience is required to start.
  • Begin investing with no cost for marketing.
  • Learn to invest in any real estate market.
  • Discover how you can close deals consistently

Enter your information below to unlock the FREE webinar!

By providing my contact info, I give express written consent to Real Estate Skills to email, call, & send text messages for upcoming events & reminders. By opting in you agree to RealEstateSkills.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Reviews & testimonials from students like you.

No matter where you start, you can become a successful real estate investor. Listen to these amazing stories from the students in our program!