A certain degree of buyer excitement emanates from a 'Sold Off Market' sign outside a beautiful home in one of Sydney’s premier suburbs. The lucky new owners have found the perfect property and managed to nab it before anyone else even got wind of the sale, creating a whiff of exclusivity that suddenly makes the property seem even more attractive to those who have missed out.
We have seen a spike in the number of properties that are being sold ‘off market’ in our local Mosman area over the last 12 months. To help you understand this emerging trend, here is a look at what off-market selling is, why sellers are choosing this method of sale, and how to achieve the best result from your sale.
Off market vs pre-market
First, it’s important to understand the difference between off- and pre-market sales.
A fully off-market property will not be listed publicly at all. There will be no overt advertising campaign and no option to go to auction. Once you give an agent your listing, they will contact potential buyers that they have matched to your property. Viewings will be exclusive, protecting your valued privacy, and only qualified, ready-to-go buyers will be brought in.
In contrast, a pre-market strategy will involve a short hush-hush period before the listing appears publicly with a full marketing campaign. Potential buyers will be notified that your property is going to come onto the market in the near future and will be given the opportunity to make an offer before it does. If your home doesn’t sell in the stipulated time, the marketing campaign will kick off and your property will be officially on the market.
Why are people choosing to sell off market?
One of the key reasons is that privacy and discretion are often paramount to both buyers and sellers. Public figures and people who value their privacy often opt for this method.
We also find that in seller’s markets, when there are more buyers than there are properties for sale (like the one we are experiencing now), buyers are often keen to move fast and prepared to pay a premium to secure a property without the stress of an auction or full sales campaign. Sellers with sought-after properties in popular locations, such as Mosman and the surrounding area, can often achieve excellent results using this method of sale.
Some sellers also prefer this method as it doesn’t come with the stress and costs of a full-blown marketing, sales, and auction campaign. It also enables the seller to have more control over the process and the final result as they can negotiate the sale price and the settlement terms.
Can I sell off market without an agent?
The simple answer is yes. But it is highly unadvisable.
A top agent is your greatest ally, both on and off the market. They will protect your interests throughout the process and provide expert knowledge to ensure your needs are met.
When it comes to off-market selling, agents have benefits you might not have considered.
First, experienced agents will have an active database of potential buyers that they can match to your property. These will be bona fide buyers, with their finances in place and a keen desire for a property just like the one you want to sell.
They may also be ready to pay a premium for the exclusivity that an off-market sale offers them. After all, it’s not only sellers who tire of the real estate melee.
Secondly, great agents know their market inside out. They will know the true market value of your home and will help you achieve or even improve on it in a sale, guiding you through the legal complexities of the whole process.
Finally, expert agents will have fostered relationships not only with individual buyers, but also with buyers’ agents. The trend towards using buyer’s agents is another trend that has emerged since the beginning of COVID. With many expats, inter-state, and out-of-area buyers unable to spend Saturdays inspecting properties, and many of them feeling frustrated at missing out on previous opportunities, they are increasingly relying on buyer’s agents to find, review, and negotiate on their behalf.
How do I prepare for an off-market sale?
Three words. Agent, agent, agent.
Look for the best agent in your area and discuss the pre-market and off-market options with them. Ask them about potential buyers, previous off-market sales in the area, how many active buyers they have on their database, and what their estimates are in terms of price and time frame.
Talk strategy with your agent and discuss what marketing material you will need. While you are not promoting your property via the usual advertising platforms, ensuring you have professional photos and videos may still be important.
Since the onset of the pandemic and tight travel restrictions, we have successfully sold many properties ‘sight unseen’. The only way we have been able to sell these properties is by sharing professional photos and video walk throughs, taking buyers on virtual inspections. Your agent is the best person to advise you on what is required here to best position your property.
It is also worth talking to your agent about promoting your property via key buyers’ agents as these intermediaries often have eager buyers, primed and willing to pay for a quick, quiet, and exclusive exchange on the right property.
A final word
In short, while selling off market is rising in popularity in our area, you should talk to your agent about whether they recommend this method of sale for your property. For more information about different methods of sale click here.
Our goal is to achieve the best possible result from your property’s sale, be it on or off the market, and we can advise you as to what we think will achieve this.
If you would like to talk to our team about what method of sale is best for you, connect with us here.
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