Joshua Baris, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker in Northern New Jersey, recently had to knock on an unsuspecting homeowner's door for his client who wanted a specific three-bedroom luxury condo in West New York, N.J. His bold step resulted in a successful sale. "If you want to succeed in this market, you really have to be aggressive and creative," said Baris. Not only is he going house-to-house, he's also sending out letters to owners of unlisted homes on behalf of his clients.
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. Follow @MarilenCawad -- Written by Marilen Cawad in New York.