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Finding and Buying Off-Market homes: Real Estate Super Strategies | The James Ruff Group LLC

Discover the perfect property without breaking a sweat – we handle it all for you!

  • Find off market properties! Request your FREE list of off-market, and hard-to-find properties, which can’t be found on the internet.
  • Learn how we can help you find and secure a new property before you sell your current home.
  • Considering selling but nervous about finding a replacement property? Ask how we will guarantee to find you a new property and provide a seamless transition between homes or we pay you.*
  • List with us and we’ll sell your home, or we’ll buy it… Guaranteed.*
  • 24-month guarantee you’ll love your home after purchase, or we’ll sell it for you for free and find you a replacement.*


Find Your Dream Home Before Anyone Else Does! 

Are you looking for the perfect home but don’t want to get into a bidding war? Do you want to beat other buyers to the punch and find your dream home before anyone else knows it’s even for sale? Finding off-market houses, condos, and commercial properties is the way to go! Stay ahead of the competition by working with The James Ruff Group, a real estate agency that specializes in off-market properties. We can help you crush the market in any market by providing you exclusive listings unavailable anywhere on the internet. Let’s dig into why off-market properties are worth considering.

What Is Off-Market Real Estate? 

An off-market listing is a property sale that isn’t publicly advertised and refers to homes that are not listed on the MLS, through a listing agent, or listing broker. This means they are not available for public viewing and are not being actively advertised on Zillow, Redfin,, Streeteasy, or any other website online. Off-market houses are often referred to as “pocket listings” because they exist in an exclusive space, only accessible through personal connections or trusted professionals.

Usually, these properties are owned by sellers who prefer anonymity or motivated sellers who need to sell quickly and quietly. Knowing you want a home is only half the battle, it is important to note that these off-market listings should be verified by real estate professionals before making any decisions.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about buying off-market real estate:

Why are off-market properties better?

Off-market properties can be a great way to find exclusive off-market real estate deals and unique opportunities. They provide buyers with the ability to negotiate outside of competitive bidding wars, and often these properties are in good condition and at a great price. Additionally, working with an experienced agent who specializes in off-market real estate is a great way to ensure you get the best deal possible.

What Should You Look for in an Off-Market Property? 

When looking for an off-market property, it is important to assess both the condition and potential of the home. Think about structural features such as plumbing, electrical wiring, roofing, and any necessary repairs or renovations. Additionally, look into the location and see if it aligns with your desired amenities and lifestyle. Lastly, analyze the potential return you could get from purchasing any property.

Does off-market mean abandoned?

No, off-market does not mean abandoned. Off-market simply means that the properties are not listed as MLS listings on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is not being actively advertised. It may be owned by motivated sellers who prefer anonymity or need to sell quickly and quietly. It is important to verify any off-market listings with trusted local agents before making a purchase.

Where is the best place to find off-market listings?

The best place to find off-market properties is through a real estate professional or trusted real estate investor. An experienced agent who specializes in off-market transactions can help you find exclusive real estate deals and unique opportunities. Working with The James Ruff Group’s local real estate agents that specialize in off-market properties, ensures you get the best deal possible.

How do I find distressed properties in my area?

To find distressed real estate in your area, work with an agent who specializes in off-market properties. Often, off-market deals are easier transactions than short sales, or foreclosures, with less risk and a similar or better purchase price. They can help you locate hidden gems, and forgotten vacant properties, and potentially get a better deal compared to publicly advertised properties. Additionally, researching the local market and attending open houses are great ways to discover potential bargains.  

How do I find a property, not on the market?

Working with a seasoned real estate agent who specializes in off-market real estate is the best approach to locating a home that is not currently on the market. In comparison to houses that are openly advertised, they may be able to assist you to reveal treasured homes and possibly save you money. Additionally, open houses and market research are excellent ways to find prospective deals in your area.

Is buying off-market a good idea?

Buying off-market can be a great way to find exclusive housing deals and unique opportunities. It provides buyers with the ability to negotiate outside of competitive bidding wars, and often many properties are in good condition and at a great price. Working with an experienced agent who specializes in off-market real estate is a great way to ensure you get the best deal possible.

How do off-market listings work?

An off-market listing refers to a property that is not listed on Multiple Listings Services and is not being actively advertised. Where MLS listings are syndicated across many websites like Zillow, off-market properties and pocket listings are not advertised for sale in a traditional sense publicly with sellers agents. They may be owned by motivated sellers who prefer anonymity or need to sell quickly and quietly. It is important to verify any off-market properties with a trusted local real estate agent before making a purchase.


What does distressed property mean in real estate?

In real estate, distressed property refers to a property that is in disrepair, has been abandoned, or when the owner of the property is in a financially precarious situation. These properties are often sold at discounted prices by property owners due to the need for repairs and renovations, or financial expediency requirements. Not all distressed real estate opportunities have boarded-up windows! Distressed property can be an excellent opportunity for many investors looking to purchase commercial property and residential homes below fair market value.

8 Examples of Distressed Properties You Could be Missing Out On:

1. Foreclosures: Properties that have been taken back by the lender due to non-payment of mortgage loans.

2. Bank-Owned Property (REO): Properties repossessed from a borrower due to foreclosure and put up for sale by a bank or other financial institution.

3. Abandoned Houses: Properties that have been neglected and left vacant by their owners.

4. Short Sales: Properties offered for sale below the market price when an owner needs to sell quickly, typically due to financial difficulties or distress.

5. Vacant Lots: Land parcels that are not being developed or sold due to a lack of demand from potential buyers.

6. Tax Lien Property: Properties that have unpaid taxes and are sold at auction by the government to recoup funds.

7. Probate Property: Real estate owned by a deceased person being transferred to beneficiaries or heirs after probate court proceedings.

8. Pre-Foreclosure: Properties that are near foreclosure, but have not been repossessed by the lender yet. Buyers can negotiate with the owner to purchase it before foreclosure happens.

Seller's are required to disclose all material facts in a real estate transaction

Am I legally protected in an off-market real estate transaction?

Yes, when purchasing an off-market property you are legally protected by the same laws as any other real estate transaction. This includes the disclosure of material facts by potential sellers and compliance with local zoning laws. It is important to work with a trusted real estate agent to ensure all documents are properly filled out before closing on your new home.

Is a pocket listing a good idea?

A pocket listing can be a great idea, depending on the situation. It may provide an opportunity to find exclusive deals and unique opportunities, while also providing privacy and anonymity for the seller. We offer our clients pocket listing services so you can have the best chance for your future happiness. It is important to verify any pocket listings with a trusted real estate agent before making a purchase.

Benefits of Buying Real Estate Off-Market 

When working with The James Ruff Group’s real estate agents, clients have access to a wide selection of off-market homes. This can give you a competitive edge to secure a great deal on your ideal property, and avoid bidding wars—all while going through a much smoother transaction process. Working with The James Ruff Group also enables clients to access exclusive areas such as luxury neighborhoods or gated communities where available properties may be limited and harder to come across while locating hidden expired listings.

Additionally, locating off-market homes allows real estate investors more opportunities for profit since these private listings tend to be priced lower than fair market value due to their hidden nature and less competition from other potential buyers scouring the Multiple Listing Services who aren’t aware of off-market deals.

When it comes time to purchase your next home, consider turning away from traditional methods in favor of working with the best brokerage firm in the real estate industry, The James Ruff Group instead! With their expertise in finding off-market deals, you can avoid bidding wars and secure great deals on primary residences and investment properties before anyone else even knows they were available. Whether you’re looking for your dream home, searching for an investment opportunity or trying to sell quickly without alerting neighbors or competitors – working with The James Ruff Group can provide you with stress-free transactions so you can get exactly what you need faster than ever before!

Why Work With The James Ruff Group? 

The James Ruff Group has extensive experience finding off-market properties for both buyers and sellers alike. Our team has specialized knowledge in this area which allows us to access unique residential opportunities all over the country as well as an unparalleled understanding of local markets and trends. We specialize in helping clients buy or sell without ever having their property listed on the local multiple listing service (MLS) – giving our clients an edge over other buyers/sellers out there searching for their dream home or seeking a profitable investment opportunity in real estate. Before hiring any agent we suggest you read these 39 questions every seller should ask an agent before hiring them.

James Ruff Owner of The James Ruff Group

Tell Us About Your Company

Whether you are looking for a condo, single family home, co-op, multi-family, or commercial property in NYC or Southern Florida, we provide our clients with off-market real estate opportunities in addition to the properties you can find online so you can find the exact home you are looking for. The James Ruff Group LLC is a top luxury real estate agency, affiliated with the National Association of Realtors, that helps home buyers and home sellers navigate transactions seamlessly with as little stress as possible so our clients achieve prosperity, security, and joy through property ownership. We achieve the best price for our clients with the best terms guaranteed or we pay you. We’re down-to-earth, honest, and straightforward and here to help you through one of the biggest decisions of your life. We won’t rest until you’re 100% satisfied. Contact us today to get started!

James Ruff owner of The James Ruff Group Miami Realtors

James R. Ruff

Principal Broker

About the Author

James R. Ruff – With 30+ years in real estate construction, investing, and brokerage, having studied at Harvard Business School, James Ruff leads The James Ruff Group Real Estate Brokerage Firm as Principal Broker and Owner. 

Operating from offices at Madison Park in Manhattan, New York, The South of Fifth in Miami, Florida, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, his team of expert advisors specializes in luxury residential and commercial properties throughout the USA.

James Ruff’s team is dedicated to helping you build wealth, security, and happiness through quality real estate guidance, one transaction at a time, for a lifetime.

Click to read more about James Ruff


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James Ruff Principal Broker Owner The James Ruff Group Realtors
James R. Ruff Principal Broker, Owner of The James Ruff Group Realtors

James Ruff 5 star reviews


James Ruff Principal Broker Owner The James Ruff Group Realtors
James R. Ruff Principal Broker, Owner of The James Ruff Group Realtors

James Ruff 5 star reviews


James Ruff Principal Broker Owner The James Ruff Group Realtors
James R. Ruff Principal Broker, Owner of The James Ruff Group Realtors

James Ruff 5 star reviews


The James Ruff Group LLC Privacy Policy


We are committed to respecting your right to privacy and protecting your information when you visit or use our services.

This privacy policy also describes the choices available to you regarding our use of your personal information and how you can access and update this information.

We want you to understand what information we gather about you, how we use it and the safeguards we have in place to protect it. This Privacy Policy applies to information collected through this website and otherwise. Your use of this website and our services, and any disputes arising from it, is subject to this Privacy Policy as well as the Terms of Use and all its dispute resolution provisions, including arbitration, limitation on damages and choice of law.

This website is a general audience site and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 13.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, you should first contact us at

Email and Email Addresses
We collect your email address when you provide it to us through our website or when you sign up for our blog. We will never sell your email address. We will only use your address to communicate with you regarding the servicing of your accounts or to make you aware of products and services that may be of interest to you.

When you send The James Ruff Group an email, we may retain your message and our response for quality assurance purposes. It is important to remember that regular (non-encrypted) email is not secure.

Online Forms
We collect information from you when you fill out an online form. All online forms are subject to the same policy we have on email.

Planning Tools and Calculators
Information that you input on the web site while using any of our planning tools and calculators is not captured, stored or used in any way other than to provide you with the information you’re looking for at the time you use the tool or calculator. These calculators were built only for the purpose of helping you understand your financial options, enabling you to explore various scenarios and “what if” calculations for items like loan payments, retirement and education planning.

We may use cookies and other online tracking devices. Cookies are small text files that a website’s server places on your computer. The cookies provide a means for websites that you visit to track browsing activities conducted with your computer. This includes information such as pages and content viewed, the time and duration of visits, search queries entered into search engines, and whether a computer user clicked on an advertisement. Cookies make the personalization of your web experiences possible and can also be used to retain data related to a particular browser such as items in online shopping carts.

There are other devices for tracking online activity including web beacons. A web beacon is a small string of software code that represents a graphic image on a website or in email. Web beacons can be used for many purposes – including website traffic reporting, unique visitor counts, advertising/auditing/reporting, and personalization of a website.

Working with Other Companies
From time to time, our partners may establish a relationship with other partners on the Internet to provide you with additional value and new products we may not offer ourselves. In these circumstances, we will treat information you provide us in the same manner described in our Privacy Policy. Our partner website may offer access to other sites either through the use of hyperlinks. In some cases, the other site will also collect information from you. Please review the privacy policies of these third parties prior to providing any information to them when you link to their web site.


  1. Collection and Use of Your Personal Information

We collect Personal Information from you only when you voluntarily submit it in order to obtain certain information, including without limitation (A) requests to find out more about our programs; (B) requests to contact us; and (C) requests to forward your information to one of our affiliates.

We honor all “do not track” requests and settings. If you use any signal(s) or other mechanism(s) that provides you the ability to exercise choice regarding the collection of personally identifiable information about your online activities over time and across third-party websites or online services, we will not attempt to override such signals or mechanisms, nor will we track your use of any such signal or mechanism. When you use our website, no other parties can collect personally identifiable information about your online activities over time and across different websites. Your choice is indicated by your settings in your web browser. A “do not track” indication sent from your web browser will result in any tracking activity (i.e., tracking cookies) within the website to be programmatically disabled.

We collect the following personal information from you:

  • Contact Information such as name, email address, mailing address, and phone number

We use this information to:

  • Send you requested product or service information
  • Respond to customer service requests
  • Administer your account
  • Send you a newsletter
  • Send you marketing communications
  • Improve our Web site and marketing efforts
  • Conduct research and analysis
  • Display content based upon your interests

By clicking the Submit button, you agree to have your information shared with us and for us to contact you via telephone, mobile phone (including through automated dialing, text SMS/MMS, or pre-recorded messaging) and/or email, even if your telephone number is on a corporate, state, or the National Do Not Call Registry, and you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Special Notice to California Residents. If you are a resident of California, in addition to the rights set forth in this Privacy Policy:

  1. We will not share any personal information about you to the extent prohibited by applicable California law or to the extent your prior consent to share is required by applicable California law; and
  2. You have the right to request information from us regarding the manner in which we share certain categories of information with third parties for their direct marketing purposes. California law gives you the right to send us a request at a designated address to receive the following information
  • 1.1. the categories of information we disclosed to third parties for their direct marketing purposes during the preceding calendar year
  • 1.2. the names and addresses of the third parties that received that information; and
  • 1.3. if the nature of the third party’s business cannot be determined from their name, examples of the products or services marketed.

The rights of Users

We adopt this Notice to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA). Any terms defined in the CCPA have the same meaning when used in this Notice.

Users may exercise certain rights regarding their Data processed by the Owner.

In particular, Users have the right to do the following:

  • Withdraw their consent at any time. Users have the right to withdraw consent where they have previously given their consent to the processing of their Personal Data.
  • Object to processing of their Data. Users have the right to object to the processing of their Data if the processing is carried out on a legal basis other than consent. Further details are provided in the dedicated section below.
  • Access their Data. Users have the right to learn if Data is being processed by the Owner, obtain disclosure regarding certain aspects of the processing and obtain a copy of the Data undergoing processing.
  • Verify and seek rectification. Users have the right to verify the accuracy of their Data and ask for it to be updated or corrected.
  • Restrict the processing of their Data. Restrict the processing of their Data. Users have the right, under certain circumstances, to restrict the processing of their Data. In this case, the Owner will not process their Data for any purpose other than storing it.
  • Have their Personal Data deleted or otherwise removed. Users have the right, under certain circumstances, to obtain the erasure of their Data from the Owner.
  • Receive their Data and have it transferred to another controller. Users have the right to receive their Data in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format and, if technically feasible, to have it transmitted to another controller without any hindrance. This provision is applicable provided that the Data is processed by automated means and that the processing is based on the User’s consent, on a contract which the User is part of or on pre-contractual obligations thereof.
  • Lodge a complaint. Users have the right to bring a claim before their competent data protection authority.

Details about the right to object to processing

Where Personal Data is processed for a public interest, in the exercise of an official authority vested in the Owner or for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the Owner, Users may object to such processing by providing a ground related to their particular situation to justify the objection.

Users must know that, however, should their Personal Data be processed for direct marketing purposes, they can object to that processing at any time without providing any justification. To learn, whether the Owner is processing Personal Data for direct marketing purposes, Users may refer to the relevant sections of this document.

How to exercise these rights

Any requests to exercise User rights can be directed to the Owner through the contact details provided in this document. These requests can be exercised free of charge and will be addressed by the Owner as early as possible and always within one month.

We may provide this information in a standardized format that is not specific to you. The designated email address for these requests is

Consent to Receiving Emails, Auto-Dialing & Auto-Texting:

By registering, you are giving us and our professional real estate clients and advertisers permission to contact you via text message, email, or telephone using the email address and/or telephone number that you have provided during the registration process. Such contact may, from time to time, include attempts to contact you via auto-dialing or auto-texting technology. You may opt out of receiving these forms of communication by unsubscribing from any email communication or texting STOP as a reply to one of our text communications. There is no fee charged by us or its advertisers to receive text messages, however, your mobile service provider may charge you for sending and/or receiving text messages and air-time, as well as any other standard applicable rates charged by your mobile service provider.

Information Sharing

We will share your personal information with third parties, including with one of the participating lenders associated with this site, only in the ways that are described in this Privacy Statement. We may provide your personal information to companies that provide services to help us with our business activities such as offering customer service. These companies are authorized to use your personal information as is necessary to provide these services to you.

We may also disclose your personal information:

  • As required by law such as to comply with a subpoena, or similar legal process.
  • When we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect your safety or the safety of others, investigate fraud or respond to a government request,
  • To any other third party with your prior consent to do so.
  • We may share your personal information with other companies so that they can market their products or services to you. If you do not want us to share your personal information with these companies, contact our website vendor and advertising provider at

Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We may use cookies, for example, to keep track of your preferences and profile information. Cookies are also used to collect general usage and volume statistical information that does not include personal information.

We may use another company to place cookies on your computer to collect non-personally identifiable information to compile aggregated statistics for us about visitors to our site.

Links to Other Web Sites

Our Site includes links to other Websites whose privacy practices may differ from ours. If you submit personal information to any of those sites, your information is governed by their privacy policy statements. We encourage you to carefully read the privacy statement of any Web site you visit.


The security of your personal information is important to us. We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. No method of transmission over the internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure, however. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. If you have any questions about the security of our Web site, you can contact our website and advertising provider

Additional Policy Information

Our Web site includes Widgets, which are interactive mini-programs that run on our site to provide specific services from another company (e.g. displaying the news, opinions, music, etc.). Personal information, such as your email address, may be collected through the Widget. Cookies may also be set by the Widget to enable it to function properly. Information collected by this Widget is governed by the privacy policy of the company that created it.

Our Web site offers publicly accessible blogs, social media, or community forums such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. You should be aware that any information you provide in these areas may be read, collected, and used by others who access them.

Visiting our Websites From Outside the United States.

This Privacy Policy is intended to cover collection of information on our websites from residents of the United States. If you are visiting our websites from outside the United States, please be aware that your information may be transferred to, stored and processed in the United States where our servers are located and our central database is operated. The data protection and other laws of the United States and other countries might not be as comprehensive as those in your country. By using our services, you understand that your information may be transferred to our facilities and those third parties with whom we share it as described in this Privacy Policy.

No Rights of Third Parties.

This Privacy Policy does not create rights enforceable by third parties or require disclosure of any personal information relating to users of our websites.

Notification of Privacy Policy Statement Changes

We may update this privacy statement to reflect changes to our information practices or changes in regulations governing privacy. If we make any material changes we will notify you by email (sent to the email address specified in your account) or by means of a notice on this Site prior to the change becoming effective. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy practices.

This Privacy Policy was last revised on October 1, 2022. We reserve the right to modify or amend this policy at any time by posting the revised Privacy Policy on the website.

At The James Ruff Group, we respect your privacy.

If you have questions regarding our Privacy Policy, please email us at We hope you enjoy our site!