How do you make offers on properties that are not listed for sale?

I know that large firms make offers on properties that are not listed for sale.

I know of a firm that recently made an offer to buy the Empire State Building. I’m pretty sure they didn’t get that through their realtor.

How do I do this? How do I contact that owners? What if I’m driving down the road and see a hotel I want to rehab?


You can send a letter to the property address for the owner or research property records for absentee owners address.


You can contact the city hall of the location of the property to get the property owners address and mail them a letter.

You may be able to save yourself some time. Try looking it up on the county website. here is a link to accessing the counties that have online sites throughout the US.

When looking at big properties like that, they’re most likely owned in an entity so, it’s not always the easiest to find the owner but I would start by pulling the county records, then if it’s an entity you can try a google search, they may have a website where you can easily get in contact with them. If that doesn’t work see what information your state discloses on entities. If it gives names of officers and addresses. You can then mail them or skip trace them and contact the officers directly by phone. Most states will at least list the address of the business so you can always mail them if you can’t figure another way to contact them.

You just need to locate the owner and make them an offer. You can find the owner from your county website. If it is an LLC you find the members from open corporates. Getting the contact details of the owner is trickier but you can just use a skip trace provider like Batch Skiptrace or Lead Sherpa. Obviously most people you speak to won’t be wanting to sell so you need to have a volume of leads to work on to find someone that is willing to sell.

P.S. Let me know how it goes buying the empire State building :biggrin

Trying to buy a home that is not on the market is complicated, and there is no way to know how successful you will be. Anotther potential avenue to find possible owners who might be willing to sell but are not yet listed for sale is the online real estate site known as Zillow.

Even if an owner is not actively trying to sell their home, they may be interested in seeing what kind of money they can make on their home. That is why sites like Zillow offer a “Make Me Move” option, where owners can set a dream offer price for buyers like you that see their home and really want to purchase it.

You can technically make an offer on any property at any time, whether or not it’s listed on the MLS doesn’t matter. If it’s not listed it’s called an “unsolicited offer”.

It doesn’t cost you anything to write an offer, or to receive one, so people usually don’t care about receiving one.

In my opinion they can be a great way to buy a property because you are usually the only seller they are talking to. The trick is to catch the seller at the right time so they are motivated to sell also.

Not sure if it is worth your time but you can offer on anything just like anyone can come up to you right now and make an offer on any of your real or personal property.

Humberto Marquez
Good Neighbor Home Buyers

Locate owner, pull comps, and make and offer that leaves a spread for profit!