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Your House Is For Sale, You Just Don't Know it Yet

His letter would typically say: "My client is looking to buy a house and came across yours. Please call me to discuss in greater detail."

Some recipients of his letter might find his actions intrusive and some might even think it's a scam, but Baris said, more often than not, people are willing to talk and negotiate.

"It's not that everyone has a price, but you'll be surprised how many homeowners have thought about selling, but just never got around to doing it," said Baris. "The best deals are sometimes made when the buyer's agent is one step ahead."


The practice is not uncommon. All over the U.S., realtors have been resorting to cold calls to get prospective buyers into unlisted homes.

"This is happening more often than you might think, especially in the current market, in places where inventories are extremely low," said Keith Sorem, a real estate consultant and associate at Keller Williams Real Estate Services in Los Angeles, Calif.

A house, for example, may have failed to sell one or two years ago, so the owner took it off the market. However, home values in the area may have already increased today -- enough to where the owner would be willing to sell. In this case, Sorem said, a cold call would be welcomed by both buyer and seller.

When buying a home, it's always best to keep in mind that you have more options than you are presented with. You might consider selling your own home if prospective buyers asked and the offer was right. Similarly, your ideal home may not be on sale, but that doesn't mean you cannot buy it.

-- Written by Marilen Cawad in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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