Agents, Buyers Target Unlisted Homes for More Inventory

Row of houses on suburban street

© fStop Images/Getty Images

Home buyers and real estate pros are growing more desperate to find greater inventory, targeting unlisted homes and hoping to convince homeowners to sell.

Agents and buyers have begun writing letters to every owner in a neighborhood the client is interested in to see if anyone is willing to sell, Jenny Usaj, a Denver real estate pro, told NBC-9 News. Usaj says she’s personally received two letters from interested buyers inquiring about whether she’d sell her home or one of her rentals.

Some anxious buyers and real estate pros are even researching death records for information on upcoming estate sales, according to reports. The same dynamic is occurring in the commercial real estate market as well. The operators of a family-owned gas station in the Denver area have received so many buyer inquiries that they put a sign on the front of the property: “Not For Sale.” The owners say they intend to stay in the location where they’ve been for nearly 80 years.

Low inventory is plaguing areas across the country. Total existing-home inventory at the end of April was 1.16 million, down nearly 21% from a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Unsold inventory nationwide is at a 2.4-month supply at the current sales pace—representing near-record lows. Eighty-eight percent of the homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month, according to NAR.