Blog Stories When Selling a house off-market makes sense

When Selling a house off-market makes sense

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, August 31, 2018

As the market cools considerably and brings with it great relief for buyers, for sellers who have been watching the market, the opposite is true. While the balancing out of the market is a good thing overall, the stress of not knowing how long it will take to sell your home and for owner occupied sellers, the stress of always feeling like you live in a museum can be rough. One year ago I would not have advised a seller to sell a home off-market without listing it on RMLS, but in this new reality, for some sellers, this can be the least stressful and most fruitful path to follow.

In May of 2015, I sold the very last home I’ve sold under $200,000 to some wonderful and eager first time homebuyers. The 3 bedroom 1 bath ranch home is close to Ventura Park and is as solid as a rock. After my buyers purchased it, they went about updating it and removing all the carpet, re-doing all the original hardwood floors, and painting it and taking it up 9 notches on the sweet and cute scale. In June of this year, my buyers contacted me to let me know that they were divorcing and going their separate ways, and that they had decided to sell the sweet little house. Fortunately because they are both swell human beings, they have stayed amicable and when it came time to go over all of the details and listing information, they were both very much on the same page. For both of them, they felt that they were struggling first time home buyers when they purchased it, and their sellers had accepted their offer over an investors offer, and now that the time had come to sell, they both felt strongly about selling to a person who would live in the house, and not an investor who would purchase it as a rental.

Because they had done so much work on the house over the past few years, the to-do list for getting it ready for the market was pretty small. Since they had split, the extra bedrooms had been rented out to roommates, so there were a lot of discussions on how showings would work, when we could list, and other considerations that need to be taken into account when there are renters living in the home. They decided the best time to list would be late July or early August. About a week after we went over all the paperwork and came up with the game plan for getting the house on the market, I got a call from my cousin who happens to be a broker at another firm, asking if I would be willing to take a referral from her as this buyer was looking on the east side where I work and live. After discussing this buyer’s wants and needs, it struck me that this house I was going to list might be perfect for this buyer.

I sent the old listing to my cousin who shared it with her buyer, the buyer loved it and couldn’t believe that if she wanted it, and was willing to pay list price, my sellers would sell to her and not list it on RMLS. I went over the proposal with my sellers, and both of them were totally on board and felt like if this could work out, it would make everything so much easier and smoother for them. A few days later and I met the buyer at the house to show her, and it was as perfect for her as she had hoped. So rather than taking a referral from my cousin, I found her buyer a house.

Because the market is cooling, there were roommates to consider and the circumstances of the sale weren’t exactly the happiest, my sellers agreed that selling it to this buyer (who was a real buyer who would live in the house!) felt like it was the way to go. We did a long transaction to give my seller and his roommates time to find new housing situations, and nearly 8 weeks later, the sale closed and everyone is happy. While selling off market isn’t the best choice for every seller, in this situation it made total sense and with an excited buyer in hand who was willing to pay the price my sellers were planning on listing it at and gave my sellers the timeline they needed, all the pieces fell into perfect place. Given what the market did over the last three years with so much appreciation, along with all of the sweat equity they put into the house, both of my sellers are walking away with tidy nest eggs and a wonderful buyer who had struggled to find a house she loved in her price range gets to move into this great house.

Alyssa Isenstein Krueger



I am living the dream. Working as a real estate broker in my home town brings this native Portland gal joy beyond measure. I took the round-about-road towards this career. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in NY two decades ago with a degree in liberal arts/creative writing, I returned to my hometown of PDX and got a job in a legendary record store of days gone by, worked as a music and culture writer for Portland’s oldest weekly publication while pursuing a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University. Armed with my masters degree, I moved into the realm of affordable housing, community development, and urban planning, and then rounded the corner with a long stay in arts management then back around the bend when I got my real estate license and went to work for a non-profit housing builder at the cusp of the market crash in 2007. In the time between that market crash and the ensuing madness, I’ve stayed on top of the market like a dog guarding a bone. Using a magical combination of experience, instinct, and market data, I know what homes are worth, I know how to write a terrific offer, and I know how to help a seller market a home and receive and accept a great offer. Mutual trust and tender relationship building is the basis and foundation of my real estate practice. I use my skills as an active listener, creative solution finder and ace negotiator to get my clients the best price on a home, win the multiple offer roulette, and have as smooth and easy transaction as possible. Timely and responsive communication is the most important aspect of building trust and I don’t take that part lightly.  I am a stickler for details and nothing pleases me more than guiding a client through the home buying or selling process (and sometimes both at the same time). My role is one of advocate, advisor, partner, transaction organizer, and counselor. I am a partner broker with Portland Housing Center and relish the opportunity to work with eager first time home buyers. I have a knack for seeing the potential in almost any home and love to help clients see past what is and help them envision what can be. I have a decade of first-hand experience renovating and caressing my bungalow in Ladd’s Addition and had the honor of having my own home featured in a story in the Oregonian’s Homes and Gardens section. I can feel the love for any and almost all homes, but my heart goes all aflutter when entering a museum quality time capsule house -- the solid mid-century ones with the original pink or green tiled bathrooms, those charming early 1900’s farmhouses with the original kitchen cabinets and fir countertops, the cozy bungalows with the built-ins still intact. When I’m not working with clients, you’ll find me hanging with my two boys, Kalman and Saul, and my husband Robert, a Fine Art Conservator with his own business, Cascadia Art Conservation Center.  Retired racing greyhounds have been my constant companions since 1997, and our family includes Peanut the greyhound, Pinto the South Korean Italian greyhound, and our chickens, Rosie, Lola, Squishy, Duck and Prince. I am an obsessive gardener/plant fiend and love that we live in a climate where I can grow eucalyptus trees (I have 5 in my yard including a couple I started from seed) alongside blueberry bushes (6 in my yard). Given some free time, you’ll find me junking at an estate sale, dreaming of high brow junk, low brow art, making things, sewing, reading and dreaming of tropical locales.
Read More
  • T: 503-724-6933

You might also enjoy

Just Sold: Beautiful Craftsman-style Home in Portland

Yascha Noonberg

3610 SE Grant Ct, Portland, OR 97214   This Craftsman-style home just a few blocks off...

JUST SOLD! 12 Days from List to CLOSED

Joanne Fantozzi

We just sold a super sweet condo in the Terra Linda complex in NW Portland’s Cedar...

Contemporary St. Helens Living

Shannon Dooley

Heading west from Portland on Highway 30 are a few places that most buyers don’t think...

Just Sold! Spacious Montavilla Home!

Dill Ward

Featuring three bedrooms and a bonus room. Freshly painted inside and out. All appliances including washer/dryer...