‘Off-market properties’ – if you’ve embarked on the house-hunting journey in Sydney, you’ve likely come across the enigmatic phrase. Buyer agents love to communicate their proficiency in accessing off-market properties and for good reason. A prospective buyer agent client’s two most common questions will be:
1. Why would anyone attempt to sell their house without actually putting it on the market?
2. Can you find me an off-market property that I’ll love?
Here’s the thing, there’s more to these obscure opportunities than meets the eye.
What Does Off-Market Property Mean?
The simplified off-market meaning or definition is a property that isn’t publicly listed for sale on major real estate platforms and marketing channels.
Sellers list their properties directly with agents or websites, and buyers are matched without having to go through the hassle of an open house or placing advertisements.
Sellers have many reasons for selling their properties off the market. Some of the most common ones include:
- Privacy: They may want the public to know that their property is for sale.
- Cost Savings: When you sell off market, you save on marketing costs, which can be as high as $20,000.
- Stress-free: It’s more straightforward and less of a hassle to sell a property off market.
- A Quick Sale: In many cases, property owners go off market because they want a quick sale. They want the property off of their hands and with as little stress and hassle as possible.
Off market listings are also just becoming more commonplace in Australia. As a result, more property owners are seeing the benefits, and they want to take advantage of the off market option.
As a buyer, you may also see “off market properties” referred to as pre-market listings, pocket listings or silent listings.
What Prompts An Off Market Property Listing
Not all off-market properties are the same and quite a number of homes and investment properties touted as off-market listings are better defined as “pre-market”. There is an agency agreement in place with a selling agent and it is ‘for sale’ however it won’t be advertised via mainstream channels such as domain.com.au and the local community papers.
So what prompts this type of listing?
The “three D’s” – death, divorce, or debt and the accompanying need for discretion are underlying reasons for many sellers to prefer this method. If the property is highly desirable, in a tightly held location it may not require mainstream exposure. An experienced selling agent with a close network of buyer’s agents and a regular/VIP client database can sometimes generate sufficient interest just through these two sources.
Sometimes it just comes down to the vendor wanting to avoid marketing fees.
In all of these circumstances, the property is still considered to be ‘on the market’ because the seller has the intention to purchase and it is available to purchase. However because it is invisible to the general public it is given the term ‘off market’.
There is another type of off-market property- a property that is not for sale which a buyer’s agent can convince a homeowner to sell privately.
These are less common as buyer agents can’t rely on leveraging their relationships with sales agents to source them. There is substantially more hard work and sweat to make contact with a prospective seller directly.
For example; perhaps a client has missed out on a property. A competent buyer’s agent will initially contact the selling agents in the area who no doubt have canvassed for a sale based on this recent activity and have potentials who can be swayed by a motivated buyer looking for exactly what they have.
8 Ways To Find An Off Market Properties in Sydney
So, you like the sound of off-market properties, but you don’t know where to start. How do you find off-market houses for sale? If these properties aren’t listed on major real estate platforms or advertised, where do you look? It’s a lot easier than you think to find silent listings. Some of the best sources for off-market homes and commercial properties include:
1. Real estate agents & buyers agents
2. Direct email to the property owner
3. Networking with other investors
4. Driving for dollars (distressed property search)
5. Online resources: websites, marketplaces, bulletin boards
6. Contracts and builders
7. Real estate auctions
8. Work with wholesalers
LEARN MORE: How To Find The Best Off-Market Properties For Sale — 8 Ways for a deep dive into each of the above 8 methods to find off-market properties
Are Off-Market Properties Really A Good Deal?
LEARN MORE: Are Off-Market Properties Really A Good Deal
Off-Market Property Considerations
It is important to recognize that an off-market property is not necessarily a superior opportunity. Sometimes agents commence with an off-market campaign just to ascertain price or because they hope to get lucky with an uneducated buyer.
A property that fails to attract sufficient interest may leave the seller with an unrealistic sense of market value and price. A lack of commitment to costs and an auction day deadline can also result in an unmotivated vendor a lack of momentum and subsequently a failed transaction.
The expertise to independently assess the value of a property is a critical skill when dealing with an off-market property. If you’re negotiating yourself there is the risk of overpaying – purchasing based on the figure the selling agent/vendor has set mostly untempered by feedback from a large sample of would-be buyers and assessed against independent quality research.
Often the key benefit of access to the off-market property is the luxury of time it affords to inspect and conduct due diligence. This is not to be underestimated.
Gaining access to off-market properties should certainly be a key consideration when choosing your buyer’s agent and it pays to ask what avenues your buyer’s agent will pursue in order to present you with opportunities few others have access to.
The Value A Buyers Agent Adds to Off-Market Property Search
Any buyers agent worth their salt maintains databases and relationships with thousands of selling agents. Should this not yield a result, a great buyer’s agent will go the next step which is to door knock and letterbox drop the targeted area, as well as purchase databases to find a matched property and get contact details for a potential seller.
It is not uncommon for a homeowner to be swayed by the prospect of a quick sale at fair market value with no need for open homes, zero marketing costs, and no contact with real estate agents! More direct communication between buyer and seller can result in the terms of the sale better suited to all parties too.
Off-market properties are some of the best properties in Australia, but you’re likely to miss them without some help. We’ll help you find these properties so that you have a chance of buying them for yourself. We’ll even negotiate with the potential seller to help you get into the house of your dreams.
If having full market visibility, and spending your precious time only assessing the best property options available appeals to you, perhaps it’s time to talk.
In just a few minutes you’ll learn what it’s like to buy property with a professional in your corner.
Book a call with me here: https://on.sprintful.com/15min-call-with-dan-sofo