Potential buyers in today's market are having trouble finding something to buy in many markets.

Sellers have taken listings off the market so they can celebrate the holidays unencumbered by the need to keep their home ready for inspection. Also, some sellers are hoping that the market is better in the spring and their homes will sell for more money.

One way to expand the available homes for sale is to search in the MLS for listings that appear to be temporarily off the market or recently canceled. Real estate pros can contact these sellers and see if they'd be interested in having them show their home and, perhaps, entertain an offer. The appeal for many sellers is not having to put their homes back on the market, and may be enough to persuade them to accept a realistic price.

Source: Inman News, Dian Hymer (12/07/2009)