In this current market, when demand is high and supply is still a little low, and when speculation starts to creep in around house prices possibly falling as a result of changing economics, many sellers consider selling their home off market. In fact one agent https://thenegotiator.co.uk/10-of-property-sales-are-now-completed-off-market-claims-hamptons/ has quoted that off market sales account for nearly 10% of all property sales now.
So what is an off-market sale? It is the method whereby the property doesn’t actually get advertised on the property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Rather agents market the property internally, introducing buyers on their database, based on their specific requirement. Sometimes this can mean that there are no marketing photos or floorplan/360 scans taken. Agents discuss the property attributes with potential buyers who then decide whether to view or not. In some areas of the country a buyer may engage the services of a ‘Property Finder’ who will seek out up and coming properties from their contacts within various estate agencies. They charge the buyer a fee for doing so.
What are the advantages of off-market selling? Many home owners find the principle of off-market selling appealing. They don’t need to arrange to get the house photographed and stage the home, they can avoid their home being shown on the internet and they can also benefit from a reduced number of viewings due to the scope of buyers being aware of the home being lower. Some estate agents may also agree to reduce their fee accordingly to take into account the time that would normally have been taken to prepare the property for marketing.
And the disadvantages? Well less prospective buyers means less opportunity to maximise the selling price. It is great for the buyer if they are introduced a property off market and are able to agree a purchase price without any competition, however the seller may be left wondering how they can ever satisfy themselves that they achieved the best price possible for their home, which is most seller’s biggest asset. Does saving a few hundred pounds on the agency fee make up for the potential many thousands more they may achieve by placing the property to the open market? It could also be viewed that any hiccups and further negotiation which are encountered following surveys and searches may also leave the seller disadvantaged as once again the viewing feedback they have is limited. An alternative buyer can sometimes be found incredibly quickly if the original buyer decides not to proceed as there may be a list of buyers who missed out first time around.
Although there will always be a time and a place for off-market sales, looking at our local market now, we feel that the best way to determine that we are achieving the best price for our client is to place the property on the open market. Without doing this we would feel that we may be doing our client a disservice. It is a sellers market currently and any estate agent should have a number of buyers waiting for the variety of different properties, however this doesn’t mean that an all important step can be missed from the property marketing process. We would caution any seller who was considering an off market agreement with an estate agent. What is their motive for doing this? What is yours? Are you 100% confident that they will get you the best price possible if they keep you ‘off the record’?Share Article
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