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Why I Go ‘Underground’ for the Best Real Estate Deals

Why I Go ‘Underground’ for the Best Real Estate Deals

Pre-MLSIf you live in Austin, you know the housing market is so hot houses receive multiple offers and sell in one day. This is good news for a lot of sellers, but for buyers, it's another story. As with any challenge, a solution is never far behind.

What if I told you that as an Austin Realtor, I have a secret weapon that allows my buyers to see Pre-MLS, off market, pocket and pre-market listings before the public ever gets a chance to see them? They can find their dream home, and put in their offer before the feeding frenzy of a marketed MLS property begins. Better yet, these are houses buyers might otherwise not have had the chance to bid on.

And for sellers, I'm able to get Pre-MLS homes in front of eager buyers who want to “beat the rush” and put in an offer right away, resulting in top dollar closes.

The Broker Underground

Before you think I'm exaggerating or full of myself, let me say I don't do it all on my own. These things are all true thanks to my membership in a relatively new association called the Broker Underground (BU).

The group, founded in August 2013 by Eric Carvajal, is a closed secret Facebook forum available only to active Realtors and brokers in Austin and San Antonio (the latter of which has it's own forum). Membership is extended through invite only by existing members.

In the forum, Realtors share and receive high level industry knowledge and spread the word about their Pre-MLS listings. There's a real sense of camaraderie and open sharing, which is typically not the norm in the industry. With more than 2,400 members in the BU, Realtors quickly get quality advice from some of the top agents in Austin.

That's what I love about Broker Underground. When my clients work with me – whether to buy or sell – they're not only getting my experience and expertise, they benefit from others' as well.

A Pre-MLS Success Story

Recently I marketed a listing in Round Rock as "Coming Soon." As a member of Broker Underground I was able to market it to 2,000-plus fellow BU Realtors. Within a matter of minutes of posting to the BU forum, I had several calls requesting to see the property.

Within the next four days I had five solid offers with the best offer, and ultimately the offer my clients accepted came in at $15,000 over asking price. Four of the five offers came from Broker Underground agents.

My clients were ecstatic to have their home under contract prior to it ever going on the MLS. They needed to sell quickly because the wife had already accepted a new position in Houston and the husband stayed behind to sell the house. To add to the urgency, the wife found a home in Houston that she fell in love with but did not want to put an offer in until she knew their home would sell.

By brokering a Pre-MLS deal my client's were spared:

•Missing out on making an offer on a new home.

•Being inconvenienced with endless showings over the span of several weeks.

•The uncertainty and added stress of not knowing whether or not their home was going to sell or not.

Not all agents are on board with marketing this way. There are many who feel that by not allowing everyone a chance to see the property, and possibly submit an offer, it's doing a disservice both to the seller of the property as well as the public.

Personally, I feel Pre-MLS marketing it's a great strategy IF you get a good, strong offer for the seller at full asking price or even slightly higher. As you can see, with Broker Underground, we can make that happen.

Photo by Ben Freedman

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