Buying a new home can be an exciting and exhilarating experience; you get to check out each neighborhood, envision your children playing with friends and picture your family gatherings at the dining room table. You’re deciding on the kind of lifestyle you want, and the world is your oyster. Now, many buyers think that they’re in a “buyer’s market” due to the high rates of foreclosures, short sales and distress sales. While, in other markets they may be right, in Denver, it’s just not the case. Denver is the second in the country for shortest time on the market for home listings. In fact, homes in Denver tend to stay on the market for a mere 33 days, while the national median is a staggering 89-days. There are too few homes, especially in the under $300,000 price range to satisfy the amount of ready and able buyers.

So what’s a buyer to do? The answer is to go off the map. That’s right, many buyers are skipping battling it out with other buyers on the MLS and are going behind the scenes with their agents. According to some agents, there are plenty of homeowners looking to sell if they can get the right price for their property. In fact, according to one survey, one out of every two homes available in January 2012 was not on the market, but would be potentially available to the right buyer.

So where can you find these properties? Agents can often locate these “off the map” properties through referrals and networking, but being observant has proven to have its perks. Some agents see sellers packing up moving boxes and will stop by and see what’s happening. Other times a buyer may notice a construction dumpster in front of a house and find out that an investment property is being vacated and the landlord just wants to sell on the Baker real estate market.

If you’re looking for some of these off the MLS properties, here are a couple ways you and your real estate agent can find them:

  • See if your agent has connections with other real estate brokers, or if he can ask around about premarket listings or “pocket listings.”
  • If you’re looking without a real estate agent, make sure to leverage your buying power; listing agents can get both sides of a commission if they represent both parties, so you can negotiate with some of the top listing agents.
  • Find an agent that knows the area well and is very well-connected. You want not only a business person, but someone who is involved in their community, and possibly their children’s sports activities or even the PTA. The more people they know the better.

About PorchLight Real Estate: PorchLight Real Estate Group has the most experienced and knowledgeable Denver real estate agents in Colorado. For more information about homes for sale in Denver CO or specific neighborhood homes please visit