This year's version is the secret list of off market and pocket listings that every agent is peddling at open houses. So while it is true that there are a lot of off market deals going on, don't expect to get a deal.
In fact, in most instances the seller is looking for a premium to sell you the house before it hits the MLS and gets a bidding war going on. And that bidding war will ensue, no doubt about it.
For some buyers who have lost out on numerous properties they are willing to pay the premium if it is a home they want. Low risk for the seller because if the off market deal falls through they can always put it in the MLS and drive the bidding war.
As you might expect, I have a website for off-market properties and pocket listings.
I can't guarantee that I can find what you are looking for but I do network with all the power brokers in the area and have access to properties before they hit the market.
If you are just waiting to get a notification on your mobile device from ZIllow, Trulia, Redfin or Realtor.com and then going to open houses.....
Well that's a tough way to get into escrow is about all I can say. Try SOUTHBAYPOCKETLISTINGS.com and lets see if we can find your new home.