An off-market property is a property being sold without being advertised publicly.
These properties will not be found through mainstream estate agents, at auction or on any significant property portals.
Off-market properties are a bit more elusive, and you need to be in the know to find them.
Due to the lack of competition in this environment, such properties tend to be sold below market value.
It is a common misconception that properties are sold this way because there is something wrong with them.
This is untrue as many fantastic properties can be found off-market, and often both sellers and buyers want to avoid some of the rigmarole of the open property market.
Reasons To Buy Off Market Property
A Less Competitive Environment: Buyers are at an advantage with off-market properties as they are not accessible to as many other buyers.
Generally, investors will only need to go up against two or three others, making success much more likely.
Sale Prices are Lower: A less competitive environment also results in lower sale prices.
Not many people know about off-market properties so that investors can purchase these properties at a fantastic price.
It is much less likely that you will have to bid on a property so you might secure the property with your first offer.
Business Deals are more Relaxed: Throughout the process of buying an off-market property, buyers and sellers alike are considerably calmer as fewer people see the properties.
As a result, both parties may be more open, more flexible and more open to different contract types.
Transaction Times are Different: In the off-market sales environment, the majority of investors and sellers will be in no rush to sell.
This gives buyers plenty of time to ensure that the offer they make is the right one and consider the big decision they are about to make.
It is worth noting that this is always not the case, and some sales will be closed very quickly. Sometimes, the quick turnaround is reflected in a lower price.
Off-Market Has Opportunities You Won’t Get Elsewhere.
Properties may be sold off-market for a range of reasons, and sometimes this is because the seller is facing a setback or challenge.
The transaction may be mutually beneficial for both parties and push through a great deal.
Off-market is also a great place to find a hidden gem.
If a seller thinks their property is too unusual to perform well on the open market, they will probably opt for selling off-market.
Reasons Sellers Might Opt to Sell Off-Market Include
You Can Test How Your Property Performs on the Market – Making your property available off-market can enable you to gauge how well it might sell on the open market. You will know if the prices needed to be adjusted etc.
Have Control In the Selling Process – Selling off-market enables property owners to sell their property their way.
It allows you to choose who can come and view your property and make a decision on when it is available.
With fewer buyers around, you can be more selective about who buys it eventually. Sometimes sellers do not want the fuss that comes with marketing a sale or the attention of any nosy neighbours it might attract.
This also eliminates anyone who is not serious about buying the property you are selling.
Less Preparation Needed – Getting your property, especially if it is your home ready for viewings can be time consuming and inconvenient.
If you sell your property off-market, you will probably get fewer viewings, so there will be less hassle and reduce the figure of showing you might have to have to sell the property.
Selling off-market also means that you do not have to arrange any marketing yourself, which can, at times, be costly.
More Privacy: Selling your property off-market makes your sale much more private. Understandably not everyone wants pictures of their property on the internet for the world to see.
The marketing-driven approach taken by estate agents is not for everyone. Having a lot of people in your home is not for everyone either.
Once a public listing is published it is accessible for all. Off-market selling is beautiful to celebrities and others in the public eye. People may require privacy as the result of a death or breakdown of a personal relationship.
Reasons Sellers Might Avoid Off-Market
Selling off-market can be difficult due to the fact there are fewer potential buyers in the arena.
The odds of selling your property are improved by more people viewing it. The lack of potential buyers makes it unlikely for the price to be driven up by competitive bidders.
Finding Off Market Properties You Can Buy
One of the best ways to find an off-market property is to network.
Forming relationships with the right people who will share the right information with you is essential.
Those looking to buy you should reach out to agents and property experts who can point you in the correct direction. Having a good reputation with individuals in the market is the best tool available.
Estate agents are much more informed about properties on the market; however, this does not mean they do not know about the off-market properties available on their patch.
It is worth contacting an estate agent and telling them where you want to buy; they tend to know a thing or two about what properties are coming up on the market soon.
A friendly estate agent will give you a call and tell you all about upcoming properties that you might be able to snap up before it goes onto the market.
Building Relationships with Builders and Contractors
Builders and contractors are often useful contacts to have because they will also know about potential properties in the area. For example, builders will have unique knowledge about renovation projects that have been abandoned.
This relationship is precious for investors, as they can swoop in on unfinished projects to turn a maximum profit.
Seeking Advice From A Buying Agent or Specialist Property Finder
Building the necessary relationships to gain access to the best off-market property can be difficult.
One way to access this knowledge is to enlist the help of an experienced property agent. Whilst everyday estate agents rely on publicising the properties they are trying to sell specialists are empowered by how they negotiate the off-market environment.
They will be able to show you the best properties and act for you throughout the property buying process.
A right property agent will be able to give you a professional opinion on prices and assist you with the negotiation process.
When choosing your property finder, you should consider their commercial record and what kind of properties they have found for others in the past.
They might not be able to provide a detailed history of what they have been involved in. Buyers should come to them armed with the criteria of the property they want to buy to give them a rough idea of what they are looking for.
Fees are usually around 2% of the purchase price.
Contacting Sellers Directly
If the opportunities do not come to you, you will have to go to the sellers directly. You will have to advertise the opportunities available and demonstrate to property owners what you can offer to them.
Ideally, you can inspire people to sell their property to you before they considered it themselves.
There are several methods of advertising, including going door to door with leaflets or posting on social media to promote yourself digitally. However, this does take time and money, so the seller will need to be prepared for that.
Those looking to buy an off-market property can interpret the ground-up approach another way, by driving around their target areas to look for properties.
Property investors refer to this as driving for dollars. Finding empty or run-down properties that could be renovated is the easiest type of property to find.
‘For Sale by Owner’ Online
Online ‘For Sale By Owner’ directories are also a resource for finding private property for sale in the UK.
These sites enable property owners to advertise a property they intend to sell privately, and buyers to contact them directly.
This includes websites like The House Shop, Houseladder and GumTree. Nevertheless, the scope of how off-market these deals are is limited.
Buying Off-Market Property at Auction
Auctions are another place to pick up properties that are not being sold on the open market.
Fewer buyers have access to properties that are sold at auction as they are not advertised widely.
Buyers will know how many others they are bidding against and will only have to increase that bid by a small amount.
Properties available at auction usually need a lot of work or improvement, so they are not the best place to find an off-market home you can move straight into.
Investors are best placed at auctions, so they can turn a profit through completing any necessary renovations.
Here is a great site to get some deals on properties, showing location data to analyse the prices in the area.