Are Off-Market Properties Really A Good Deal?

A question I’m always asked by my buyers is  ‘do you have access to off-market properties?’


Whilst a fair number of my purchases are found and bought off-market, I’d like to clarify that not all off-markets are worth pursuing.


To understand whether an off-market property is an opportunity, a trap, or a waste of your time hinges on the motivation of the vendor and sales agent.


Discovering the seller’s motivation is crucial.


Perhaps the vendor isn’t committed. They may be testing the market to find out what their property is worth (for any number of reasons) or have been baited to sell. In any case, they don’t want to spend money on marketing and would only trade if someone overpays. Hopefully not you.


Some off-markets are properties recently listed that did not sell. A newly appointed agent will re-list off-market to avoid over-exposure. In this situation, an abundance of research and caution must be applied to understand why it didn’t sell the first time around. A poorly executed prior campaign? Opportunity knocks. A nearby redevelopment blocking light and views? Buyer beware.


Sometimes a seller just wants privacy for personal reasons like divorce or financial difficulty. This might present an opportunity because confidentiality becomes more important than financial gain.


Then there are the highly desirable properties that attract ample demand from buyers agents and VIP databases. These off-market opportunities require fast due diligence, quick decision making, and a compelling offer to get the deal done. I often hear about these types of properties before the agent is assigned or contract is prepared, and once the word gets out they’ll sell within hours or days.


The above are just a few examples but you get the point. Finding out about off-markets is one piece of the puzzle. Researching vendor motivation and the quality of the property is critical.


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.


Unicorn Buyers Agents
On Network 10

As seen on:

Our Services


Full Service

Our Search, Appraise, Negotiate option is our complete property buying service.



Property Negotiation

If you’ve already identified properties that you like then this service may suit you.


Bid at Auction

We know the rules, we know the games and we know how to win.



Vendor Advocacy

We help you find the best sales agent to sell your property.


Testimonials - Off-Market Search

I engaged Dan earlier this year when I was looking for my first property. He helped me refine my brief, tirelessly inspected properties and was able to get me access to a series of great off-markets.

When I found two places I liked he negotiated BOTH simultaneously until I had two sellers ready to accept my offer! This resulted in me purchasing my Elizabeth Bay flat which had been my absolute favourite among everything I had seen.

Dan’s skills in landing my property were something to behold and I couldn’t be more happy with it.

Dan is hard working, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him and to work with him again next time.
Roland Chanin-Morris
Dan made the process of buying our first home such a seamless one.

We had been looking for months on our own and felt so overwhelmed with competition. Immediately when we signed with him we saw so much value in his service like getting access to off market properties we would have never known about.

Dan got us our dream home that’s better than we could have ever imagined and I know we wouldn’t have gotten it if it weren’t for him!
Jessica Samson-Doel
I engaged with Dan after 2 months of property search into the hot Sydney eastern suburbs market.

Even though I was a bit skeptical at the beginning, I could instantly appreciate the immense value of a good buyer's agent when it comes to be quick to jump on a good property, discover off-market opportunities, analyse all the paperwork, assess the property's right value, negotiate the final price and understand the market trends before everyone else.

Dan has been awesome at a personal level too, as he guided us through the journey and made sure we were always using our rational part of the brain (-: I 100% recommend him to anyone buying an investment property or something to call home!
Gianluca Bazzon

Master the Market:

Off-Market Search Tips & Tricks

Off-Market Find: How I Secured this Hidden Gem Apartment in Elizabeth Bay

Off-Market Find: How I Secured this Eastern Suburbs Apartment

Off-Market FAQs

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    1. 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.

    2. What Prompts An Off-Market 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.

    3. How to Find 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

    4. Key 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.

    5. What Value Does a Buyers Agent Add to the 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.

    Ready to purchase? Contact US for a no obligation chat

    Get In Touch

    8am-6pm Mon – Sat

    If you like us and we’re in a position to help there’s just a bit of paperwork then we get straight to work.

    Scroll to Top

    Connect with Dan Sofo

    Your trusted Sydney buyer’s agent

    Your details will be sent immediately as an SMS and Email to Dan, who will get straight back to you.

    9 Essential Steps For Property Buying Success In 2024

    Please provide your details below to download the guide.

    9 Essential Steps For Home Buying Success In 2024