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The secrets of buying off-market property

By Rich Harvey, CEO, propertybuyer.com.au

When you're searching for prestige property in Sydney, it can seem like a tough task to find the right home. While the Real Estate Institute of NSW says vacancy rates are trending upwards, they took a dip last month for both outer and inner Sydney, tightening the window for your property purchasing in Sydney a little further.

But what you should remember is that these figures are for publicly listed properties - when you engage a buyers agent, you can access a whole series of off-market properties that can fill your needs.

Keeping it exclusive

Many luxury properties in Sydney will be kept off the market, and deals will take place behind closed doors. These vendors do not want to attract the attention of the general public with their sale, prefer confidentiality or do not want anyone just coming through an open house inspection for a sticky beak. Discretion and privacy are a greatly valued commodity in the super-prestige property market. Buying on a public listing means that anyone can compete against you, or be aware of your purchase. When a buyers agent brings you an off-market prestige home, you can make an offer without people becoming aware of where you're about to live straight away - it also gives you the advantage of setting an offer exactly where you want to, rather than feeling pressured by rivals. A buyers agent can act on your behalf with total anonymity providing you with the confidentiality that many buyers desire.

The right agent will strengthen your bid

Often, vendors of off-market homes will simply contact a buyers agent to find out if people are interested in buying in properties similar to what they have. This is how many off-market sales occur, so choosing the right agent is crucial. Ask around for people who have bought property in your area of interest, check accreditations and let the agent know exactly what you want. A good buying agent's address book is one of their greatest assets, which will open up a wealth of off-market property for you.

Closer relationships mean better negotiating

Buying property of this calibre can seem like too much to handle, but really buying off-market means you can get in early - and if you have the capital, agents can negotiate the price down for you. That list of contacts they have doesn't just mean easy access - it means an agent who knows when a seller will lower their asking price. And given that ABS figures show Sydney property prices increasing by 15 per cent in the last year alone, who knows what kind of profit you can make off this purchase down the line as prices rise more? While the lower and middle segments of the market have increased rapidly, the prestige market is yet to really fire up.  Prestige property prices are more closely tied to the fortunes of the stock market.

In summary, the secret to buying off-market properties is all about networking. A good buyers agent can open many doors that would not be possible if you did the searching on your own.

For more information on prestige property and other homes around Sydney, check out our detailed reports.

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