Expert tips for buying property Off-Market
How can you search for a potentially perfect property that isn’t even advertised? Buyer’s Agent and founder of Your Australian Property, Zac Newbold, shares advice for Buyers thinking about going ‘outside the box’ in this Q&A.
What does it mean to buy a property Off-Market?
Buying Off-Market means purchasing a property that’s not widely advertised. This is often referred to as a ‘silent sale’ or ‘hidden listing’. Real Estate agents generally target individual buyers whose criteria match up with the specific property and organise private viewings.
An Off-Market property may be advertised on an agent’s website, on social media and in their brochures but, in general terms, if it’s not being advertised on one of the major real estate advertising websites then it’s referred to as an ‘Off-Market listing’.
Why might vendors choose to sell Off-Market?
The need for privacy, timing, seasonality, stock levels and marketing costs are some of the reasons why properties are sold Off-Market.
The vendor may be a private person and not want a crowd of people, including neighbours, inspecting their home. They may rather sell privately and have the world find out when the removalist truck shows up.
A vendor might want to sell but not for another three to six months. In this case their agent might recommend their property be put on the market quietly to potentially attract a buyer who may be happy with a delayed settlement.
Alternatively they may be in a rush to sell, meaning they don’t have the time to run a full marketing campaign. It takes a while – on average six to eight weeks – to prepare a property for sale and organise marketing. If, for example, a vendor has just purchased a new property with an eight week settlement period they may want to sell quickly.
The time of year can influence selling strategies as well. Many estate agents may caution a vendor against launching a full property advertising campaign in mid-December, for example, when real estate typically winds down for a month or so, instead recommending an Off-Market approach.
One exception might be if the agent is hoping to find a vacationing buyer for a property in a holiday destination.
- Stock levels
If there are lots of similar properties for sale at the same time then there may be little point adding another comparable property onto the general market. This might only add to an already oversupplied sector thereby potentially lowering likelihood of a sale.
Selling Off-Market can add an air of allure and desire to the property in this case.
Real Estate Agents may encourage a vendor/s to sell Off-Market if they have unrealistic price expectations or are not highly motivated to sell. The vendor will save on a full marketing campaign that may be unlikely to result in a sale.
The cost of marketing can be quite expensive. With the two main online sites being realestate.com.au and domain.com.au charging several thousand dollars to advertise for a few weeks, some vendors and agents may choose to avoid them where possible.
By the time vendors pay for a floor plan, photos, copywriting, styling, signboards etc. they may already be spending around $10,000, so many vendors may want to minimise or avoid such expenses.
What are the possible benefits and risks of buying Off-Market property?
A major benefit of buying Off-Market can be having the opportunity to view and acquire a property before it’s seen by the wider public. By employing a Buyer’s Agent, you may be able to take advantage of the vendor’s cost savings and negotiate a beneficial price for both you the buyer and the vendor.
Risks are higher for buyers who don’t know the local real estate market well and who cannot unemotionally assess the value of a property, so they can then negotiate strategically with an agent. A Buyer’s Agent will know the accuracy of the vendor’s asking price and understand a vendor’s motives due to their close relationship with the agent.
How can buyers find Off-Market property if it’s not advertised?
Potential buyers can join the database or Off-Market buyer’s lists for relevant agents. This may include individual agents in the same agencies, as many operate separately and run independent databases. It can be a good idea as a buyer to remind agents of your requirements regularly to ensure you stay ‘top of mind’ if any suitable properties come up.
What are some tips for buying Off-Market property?
- Understand that market value is critical. Put to one side the vendor’s expectations and do your own independent research on value in an unemotional manner. This is where a Buyer’s Agent can do the work for you.
- Keep in mind that it’s the agent’s job and legal obligation to represent the vendor and to achieve the highest price possible for them so again this is where a Buyer’s Agent represents you the Buyer
- Consider engaging a Buyer’s Agent who knows the area well to help you. This will give you an advantage as an experienced Buyers Agent will have access to historical sales data, future market projections, etc.
- Obtain an independent valuation to assist with negotiations. This can help to set a price expectation as you are bringing the opinion of a third party with no vested interest into the mix.
Your Australian Property lives and breathes property and knows the Melbourne Property Market! We at Your Australian Property offer comprehensive end-to-end support from identifying and analysing your selected properties to dealing with selling agents, attending property inspections, purchase negotiations and / or auction bidding on your behalf. Our Independent Buyer’s Agents in Melbourne, will take the time to understand your situation and work out what your individual needs, specific requirements and property goals are, so we can begin searching for your next property. To get in touch with us today, please complete our Enquiry Form so we can discuss your objectives and outline our process in clear and simple terms.