For a Buyers’ agent, one of the most common questions asked by a prospective client, is ‘do you have access to off-market properties?”
But what does off-market really mean? How many homes are really listed off the market? And does it always mean a better deal for the buyer?
We asked House Search Australia Director, Jacque Parker, to help dispel some myths.
What is the real definition of ‘off the market’?
Jacque says a property is genuinely ‘off-market’, as opposed to 'pre-market', 'pre-launch' or ‘sneak preview', if it hasn’t been advertised on the major real estate portals or marketed.
She says an off-market property can only be located by a process of discovery on the part of an active buyer in the marketplace.
“Naturally, as buyers’ agents, we are in a position to uncover far more genuine ‘off-market’ sales than the average buyer, who is only relying on portals and agency websites and correspondence.
“We also conduct canvassing for our buyers to uncover any private sellers who may be lurking and considering selling.”
How many off-market properties are out there?
The number of off-market properties vary greatly, depending on location, price-point and stock levels.
“Prestige and high-end priced properties tend to be most prolific off-market,” says Jacque, “as these are often the most challenging listings to sell.”
“The smaller the likely pool of buyers the more likely a vendor will attempt to first sell off-market.
“Then there are the vendors who wish to sell quietly, for a variety of reasons, including privacy, a family or a relationship breakdown, for financial reasons or personal circumstances.”
Is buying off market ensuring a better deal?
Not always, says Jacque.
“Unfortunately, with human nature being what it is, most buyers believe that when a property isn’t being publicly advertised, they have the opportunity to buy first and so score a potential win.
“This certainly isn’t always the case.
“As buyers’ agents, part of our role is to inspect and appraise to ensure clients don’t overpay and doing this objectively for every property, regardless of whether it’s publicly or quietly for sale, ensures that our clients are buying well and within fair market value.”