The terms “off market” or “silent listings” are used to describe properties which are for sale but which are not openly advertised online. This may happen for a few different reasons:
- Pre Market: Properties which may be coming up online but which are being offered by the selling agent to their database of buyers off market.
- Expired Listings: Properties which have been advertised online but where the advertising commitments have expired and the properties are still for sale. The agent’s agreement with the vendor may also have expired and it may be possible to approach the vendor directly.
- Genuine Off Market Properties: Properties which have not been advertised and which are never intended to be advertised. There may or may not be an agent involved.
Vendors who want to secure the highest price for their property will generally want to advertise their property online in order to gain as much interest as possible. Accordingly, the number of off market transactions is very low. Last year, it was estimated that off market sales accounted for only 10% of the Sydney market and this number would include transfers between family members.
There are a variety of reasons why vendors would choose to sell off market such as urgency; no available funds for the marketing costs; privacy; and convenience.
For property buyers, off market properties are often regarded as the Holy Grail in their quest for the perfect property. Once the list of online properties has been reviewed and exhausted, the lure of the next new listing and off market properties can be overwhelming. Furthermore, it is likely that there is no competition or at least minimal competition from other buyers because the off market property has not been openly advertised to the entire market.
The best way to finding the right property when searching for off market properties is through establishing relationships with the local selling agents. Make sure they know your requirements and that your contact details are added to their databases. Keep in regular contact with the agents so they do not forget you. Alternatively, a good buyer’s agent who has been working in the area for a number of years should keep you informed about all new opportunities meeting your criteria.
But there are many traps when buying an off market property, and a number of questions you need to ask yourself. How motivated is the vendor? Are they really interested in selling or just testing the waters? How realistic is the price? Everything may be for sale at a price, but is the property really worth it? Again, this is where it really can help to have an experienced buyers' agent on your side to advise you on whether a particular deal is a good one or not.
For a free discussion about finding your next property, call Nick Viner today on 0405 134 645.