Opening The Door to Off Market Opportunities - July Market Update
Written by: Rich Harvey, CEO & Founder
This current flare up of COVID and subsequent restrictions aside, property markets have been absolutely frantic over the past several months. It seems like just about any property that hits the market is being inundated with eager buyers clambering over each other to make an offer and land a contract. We’re seeing countless examples of sale prices five and six-figures above the guide. As a result, median prices across Australia have risen rapidly and show few signs of easing any time soon. Put simply, it’s a fantastic time to be a seller.
So… why would any potential vendor sell off-market in such excellent conditions? Doesn’t it make more sense to throw open the doors and get as many would-be buyers through as possible?
An off-market property is one that doesn’t hit the open market and make it to popular listing websites, the newspaper or a realtor’s front window. It’s when a seller, usually with the guidance of their agent, works directly with a buyer to achieve an acceptable sale.
These deals are often struck quickly, without much fuss, away from the glare of the public, without competition, and in some cases, for a lower price than might be achieved on the open market.
It sounds like a scenario that only a buyer would benefit from… right? Wrong. For a number of different reasons, an off-market sale can be a fantastic opportunity for a vendor.
In some cases, a seller might simply prefer to sacrifice that weekly foot traffic and competition for a quick, quiet and stress-free transaction. And let’s face it – selling your home is hardly a pleasant experience, even during a boom. All of those people traipsing through your property, poking at your things, crowding in your personal space, forcing you to frantically clean and stage each time and then flee… and a huge chunk of them being little more than sticky beak tyre kickers. Not fun.
It’s also costly to go on the market, from potentially huge marketing fees to professional styling and photography. That’s not to mention the value of your time, which you’ll have to invest a lot of. Time is a luxury many of us simply don’t have. It’s a matter of convenience. The realtor they enlist will come first and foremost to buyers' agents, who have a pool of qualified potential buyers who are prepared to act quickly if a good opportunity presents itself.
An off-market arrangement can save a vendor several time-consuming and costly steps. This is a huge plus for those sellers who need a quick sale so they can buy a property they’ve spotted, particularly in this market where time is of the essence. Or perhaps they’ve already signed a contract and need to free up cash by offloading their current home. Many off-market sellers are simply private people who don’t want their personal finances out there for everyone to gawk at.
Consider someone going through a separation or divorce who would prefer to keep the sale of their family home under wraps. Or a seller who has hit rough times and needs to urgently free up some cash without the added pain of gossip and speculation. And for older downsizers, selling a home they’ve lived in for a long time, raising kids and building a lifetime of memories, can be emotional and painful. They sometimes don’t feel comfortable with the intrusion of their precious space.
There might be a number of reasons to sell off-market, but whatever they are, off-market listings often present a fantastic opportunity for buyers.
And a buyers' agent is your best connection to an off-market deal, which otherwise many would-be purchasers would never hear about. Buyer’s agents have direct connections and relationships with those in the property industry working with potential vendors who are interested in selling off-market. By working with them, you can have access to a property that is off the radar, away from the competition and being sold by a motivated vendor who’s simply interested in a quick and stress-free transaction.
My team and I personally transact around 5 to 10 off-market opportunities a month. Using a range of strategies through social media, our extensive agent database built up over 20 years, our “properties wanted” page on our website and many personal connections we leave no stone unturned in the property search. It’s by having the right connections, qualified buyers and intuitive dialogue around these off-market opportunities that we can provide a significant advantage for our clients.
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