What You Should Do if You Receive an Offer But Your House Isn’t For Sale?

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on February 4, 2016

In a tough real estate market, it’s not uncommon for buyers to take a gamble and offer to buy a home that’s not listed. Or, a friend or acquaintance may express serious interest in buying your house.

Getting an unsolicited offer for your Southern Maryland house can feel a little odd. What should you do when you get an enticing offer – but weren’t planning on selling? It happens more often than you would think, and it’s worth your time to consider all your options, whether you have thought about selling or not.

Why does this happen?

There are buyers who are ready and able to become home owners, but across the country, inventory for homes is still at record lows. There aren’t enough houses for the buyers who would like to own, so they start think outside the box. Some go so far as to take matters into their own hands and mail letters to houses in Southern Maryland neighborhoods they like, hoping for a winner.

What should you do?

If someone has inquired about buying your house but you have no desire to sell, you don’t have to do anything. Say “no thank you” and move on.

But some Southern Maryland homeowners might want to hear what the buyers have to say, and others may seriously consider an off-market offer.

The first step is to listen. Vet the prospective buyer over the phone so you can make sure they are serious. Sometimes real estate agents will search for expired listings and reach out to the owners in an effort to drum up business for themselves. It’s one way to accumulate real estate properties to sell.

Ask the buyer lots of questions:

  • How long have you been searching for a home?
  • Have you made other offers?
  • What areas do you want to live in?
  • Why did you choose my house?
  • Did you inquire about any other houses? How many?


Listen to them to try and better understand their experience in the market, possible price, or terms and motivations.

If you’re interested in selling the house, you’ll most likely have to show it to them. Take this step only if they seem serious. Be cautious about allowing a total stranger into your home.

Enlist a real-estate agent

Buyers and sellers dream of completing a deal and saving cash on real estate commissions, but it is normally a better strategy to consult with an experienced and honest agent. A good agent will look out for the long-term relationship, and advising on an off-market sale is also in their best interest.

Most agents will help with an off-market deal at a reduced commission because it is less work for them. They don’t have to prepare and show the house for several weeks or months.

Off-market deals might not pan out

Off-market deals don’t always work out for many reasons, but frequently it is because the seller isn’t motivated enough to let the house go. In nearly all off-market deals, there’s a struggle over the last few thousand dollars, and that conflict can stop the sale in its tracks.

The buyer wants a discount because they know the seller isn’t paying a full deal estate commission. The seller wants market value because the house is worth what it is worth. Both the buyer and the seller want to benefit from the savings on real estate commission.

In many cases, buyers will find that if they really want to buy the house, they have to pay the price quoted by the home owners. The homeowner already has the house they want, and buying off the market is a good opportunity that buyers will have to pay for.

Hughesville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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