How to find houses when there are no houses!

17 Mar 2014
Published in Property
Views 849

You know the area you want to buy in but there are no houses for sale there! Here's how you can make houses become available and maybe even save some money

So you have found where you want to live but there are no homes for sale! If you haven't found your dream neighbourhood yet, have you used our neighbourhood discovery engine? It is a great way to find an area to live in; all you do is tell us a bit about yourself and what you like from a neighbourhood; it will search our tons of neighbourhood demographics and statistics data to find an area that would be perfect for you.

Now you know where you want to live what do you do if there is nothing much for sale? Maybe there is just nothing on or there is only one or two but they are so highly contested the prices are getting sky high with over-asking-price offers or sealed bids. This was happening mid last year and will certainly happen again.

So here's my idea...

It first occurred to me when we were trying to find a house last summer for our growing family. Houses were going fast and for silly prices and we were feeling more and more shut out in the cold whilst the nice family houses we liked in the area went into sealed bids for tens of thousands over the asking price. I had an idea...

I decided to flyer the area with a note saying we are looking for a family home in the area. This is a great way to create sellers in an area were there aren't many. Home owners thinking of moving but simply haven't got around to it yet do exist. Particularly with all the property hype in the media.

How to do it

Get on you computer and tap up a big bold looking note stating exactly what you are after; explain, intrigue then sell (I'm not a sales guy - but I think that sounded quite good). Write something along the lines of:

"WE LIKE YOUR HOUSE! We are {names}. We would like to buy a nice family home in this area but not a lot is for sale. We are looking for 3-4 bedroom houses with a nice lawned garden and off street parking. We are looking to spend between £{low price} and {highest price}. Estate agents typically take 2-3% of your sale in fees so selling direct to us could save you up to £{3% of your highest price}! Interested? Please contact us on {phone number} and we can pop round to take a look."

I think this flyer is a good balance of introducing yourself as a nice friendly people describing exactly what you are looking for, how much you are likely to spend and also getting in with the facts that selling privately is a great way for them to save money.


There are several advantages to this method of giving out flyers:

  • Creating houses for sale where there wouldn't have been any
  • You may get a discount price since the seller is saving such large estate agent fees
  • More options are a great thing as you can be sure to get the best home
  • When flyering you can avoid the scruffy houses in the neighbourhood or avoid the ones with scruffy neighbours


Of course there are downsides to this:

  • These sellers will not have begun looking at houses to buy so their search will delay the move.
  • Estate agents are very good at chasing up a sale to hurry things along, with them out of the picture the transaction may be slower

So, is this a good idea?

Well quite frankly, yes it is! As long you have read the disadvantages and are confident even when slightly out of your comfort zone, why wouldn't you at least try it to see what happens? Really your solicitors should work with you to make sure the sale goes smoothly so an agent-less transaction shouldn't be too scary. Make sure your sellers are enthusiastic also; if you have sold them the idea too aggressively they may come to their senses and back out later down the line so be sure they really are wanting to sell to you.

Have you done this before?

When researching this idea, it turns out I wasn't the first person to have thought it. We would love to hear from you if you have done this before or know someone who has. Please pop a note in the comment box below if you have something to share on the topic.

Liked this article? Then click these buttons...

Leave a comment

More articles