OFF-MARKET properties are properties that are not publicly advertised for sale across mainstream real estate media.
A Vendor/Seller lists their property with a real estate agent or on a website who then match the property to selected Buyers without the need for advertising or open inspections.
Most of these OFF-MARKET properties are actually PRE-MARKET listings.
There are also true OFF-MARKET properties listings where for whatever reason, a seller or vendor doesn’t want to the sale of their property to be public.
These sales are also known as silent listings, quiet listings or pocket listings.
OFF-MARKET sales have taken off across Australia across all price brackets, especially in the eastern capital cities.
Different sellers or vendors have different reasons for preferring Off-Market listings. Here are some common reasons for going OFF-MARKET:
- To save on marketing and advertising costs. $10,000-$20,000 is generally how much you’ll save in marketing and advertising costs by selling OFF-MARKET. This cost-saving is passed on to the buyer, enhancing the prospect and makes the sale more likely.
- The need for privacy is one of the more common reasons. Divorce, death or a change in financial circumstances often leads to a need for a quick but private sale.
- To avoid the hassles of the ‘open for inspections’, usually twice a week. Instead, you have a few serious buyers inspect the property.
- Nervous about auctions. Some sellers don’t want to deal with auctions or lots of potential buyers trampling through their property. Especially owner-occupiers who want to protect their privacy.
- Where there’s a tenanted property, and the tenants have made access to the property very difficult for potential buyers. Or tenants who may not keep the property in a presentable condition.
- When auction clearance rates are low, it creates a higher risk and uncertainty for vendors. So, they prefer OFF-MARKET listings.
- To sell urgently and quickly.
In recent years, more and more buyers prefer to buy OFF-MARKET properties especially in and around Melbourne and Sydney.
The good news is that you can find OFF-MARKET properties yourself with a bit of work.
Real estate agents
As OFF-MARKET properties are not publicly advertised they are not easy to find unless you’re in touch with real estate agents in the area where you wish to purchase.
Buyers need to get onto the email lists or databases of real estate agents in the area you’re looking to purchase and be honest with them about what you’re looking for as well as your budget. Or email them directly.
Let them know exactly what you’re looking for:
- Your price range
- The suburb or area
- The type of property – house, townhouse, unit etc.
- The number of bedrooms and/ bathrooms
- Proximity to transportation, schools or services
- Any other particular features/ amenities you’re after
Agents love this as it helps them to convince potential sellers to put their house up for sale and secure the listing as well.
Beware that since you’re telling the agent a price range this could affect your negotiating position.
Note: with this method expect to receive constant phone calls, emails and SMS’s from different selling agents about properties that will probably not really match your criteria. A sales agent will want to show their vendor they have buyers interested in their property.
Buyer’s Agents are really good at finding OFF-MARKET properties and typically half the properties they buy are OFF-MARKET.
Buyer’s Agents maximise your purchasing power and protect you from overpaying. They represent YOU the Buyer whereas the Sales Agent represents the vendor or person selling the property whether OFF-MARKET or not. They can charge up to 2% of the purchase price as there is more work involved, but many Agencies negotiate their prices. Sometimes they even go door knocking and ask people if they want to sell their properties in locations they have targeted as perfect for a client. Buyer’s Agents have proper industry knowledge, must be a Licensed Agent and have access to unlisted properties because some vendors would rather deal with an agent for a quick sale rather than spend time and money on a real estate listing.
A Buyer’s Agent will source a property that exactly matches your needs and criteria, price range and location whether you are a first home owner, owner occupier, investor or overseas buyer,
OFF-MARKET listings are popular in Australia as such there have been innovative property matching websites such as Property Whispers, Listing Loop who make it free for buyers to register.
Buyers can input information about the type of properties they’re looking for and are instantly matched with properties in their databases that match your needs.
Buyers register for free. Please Note that with these websites, there isn’t a list of properties available that you can browse.
Other viable ways to find OFF-MARKET properties are:
- Networking: Key people are often privy to unlisted properties such as Contractors, Property Lawyers or Conveyancer’s and Wholesalers. Networking with these professionals could give you options not yet listed on the market.
- Public records: Public records often feature pre-foreclosures or short sale properties in local newspapers and state and local council websites. These are a good source of finding PRE-MARKET listings. Foreclosure properties and failed foreclosure auction or REO properties owned by lenders are sometimes listed.
- Word of mouth: Ask your friends and family, your mortgage broker and even your solicitor if they know of any OFF-MARKET opportunity. The next time that they come across one they’ll remember that you’re interested.
However, be careful of some OFF-MARKET properties as they aren’t all great deals due to certain agents ‘buying the listing’.
That is to say, they entice the seller with an inflated estimated selling price to get the listing and then slowly condition the buyer to the real market price of the property.
Finding great OFF-MARKET properties is not easy but definitely worth the effort.
- Buying OFF-MARKET can be less stressful and more convenient for buyers who don’t want to go to multiple viewings and auctions.
- The OFF-MARKET nature of the listing means there is less competition from other potential buyers. With lower competition, there’s an opportunity to purchase the property at a lower price than with a full listing with property marketing. There also won’t be the bidding competition an auction can generate. This is especially important in a buyer’s market.
- Unique opportunities due to unfortunate circumstances on behalf of the seller such as financial hardship or a property owner looking to quickly let go of the property.
- As a buyer, it’s more likely that sellers are not in a rush allowing you to take your time and finish due diligence. It also allows for a more flexible transaction timeline.
Are you looking to buy OFF-MARKET – Your Australian Property can help!
Your Australian Property is an independent, boutique Buyer’s Agency with over 30 years industry experience and expert knowledge of the Melbourne property market. We help owner occupiers, investors, first home buyers, the time poor or those overseas who all benefit from our exceptional knowledge in property all over Melbourne and at all price points. We relieve the stress and find the right property at the right price for you. The director Zac Newbold has been a fully Licensed Estate Agent since 2001.
Your first meeting with Your Australian Property is a free individual session in a relaxed and friendly environment where we assess and discuss your needs and property goals to identify the most suitable option for you. We use this meeting to make sure we all communicate easily and will be able to work together to achieve your property goals. There’s no obligation to proceed with any of our services.
As our expert Buyer’s Agent’s will save you a significant reduction on the purchase price, virtually all clients savings are greater than the professional fee we negotiate with you, depending on the service you choose.
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.