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PROPERTY ADVICE 9 “There’s also typically less room for negotiation so having a budget set, finance organised and amortgage broker and solicitor ready to act on your behalf is amust.” – Nick Boyd, Head of Growth, Belle Property & Hockingstuart ‘‘ ff-market property sales gained significant traction in Australia over the past few years as buyers explored all avenues to get ahead in a competitive seller’s market. Off-market sales invite qualified and highly motivated buyers to inspect a property before advertising it to the public. A notice of sale is typically shared with a limited number of property seekers through off-market listing platforms or buyer’s agent networks, which gives the seller control over who can view the property. As such, off-market sales can be advantageous to sellers, who do not have to pay as much for marketing and sales campaigns nor open their houses to too many people. There are, however, benefits for buyers too. Our agents share the pros and cons of buying off-market so that you can make an informed decision as to whether this is the right approach for you. The Pros of Buying Off-market Narrowed Search Off-market real estate platforms require buyers to provide specific criteria. If a property matches their criteria, the buyer is notified immediately. Buyers working with buyer’s agents also maintain particular criteria, allowing buyer’s agents to cut through the noise and focus on properties that truly meet the brief. “Check for off-market options on real estate agency websites, this will usually lead you to a subscription area where you can sign up for off-market property alerts aligning to your budget and preferences,” says Nick Boyd, Head of Growth, Belle Property and Hockingstuart. Reduced Competition Selling off-market limits exposure, reducing the pool of potential buyers. However, it’s important to remember that off-market sales are deliberately designed to attract qualified buyers and serious contenders. Understand the Seller Better Reduced competition can allow buyers to develop a personal relationship with the vendor and better understand their reasons for selling. By understanding their position, buyers can make an offer that meets their needs outside of just price. “Speaking directly with real estate agents in the area you are interested in can also be beneficial. When an agent knows a buyer is serious, they will contact them directly about new off-market properties, often before an email alert is sent to subscribers, putting you in the best negotiating position,” says Nick. Less Stress Less competition can reduce pressure and anxiety for buyers, particularly compared to an auction sale type where bidding wars can drive emotions high. “You don’t need to go to several inspections and there is no need to compete at an auction. When it’s off-market, the homes are sent to you and match your set criteria and budget so it can reduce some of the stress of house hunting,” says Nick. Better Deal Typically, the more eyeballs on a property, the higher the sale price. Fewer eyeballs can minimize the chance of a bidding war and inflation, leading to a buyer securing a better price than in the open market. Faster Transaction Sellers tend to favour off-market sales because they are known to achieve faster results than a typical sales campaign that can take several months. On the flip side, this can be an advantage for buyers too. “There’s also typically less room for negotiation so having a budget set, finance organised and a mortgage broker and solicitor ready to act on your behalf is a must,” says Nick. Greater Privacy No auction, a reduced chance of a bidding war, and no online open market sale record can provide buyers with greater privacy. The Cons of Buying Off-market Limited Choice Buyers who set their sights only on off-market sales will not have a vast selection of properties to choose from. While there has been an increased number of off-market sales in recent years, most sellers still prefer to test the waters of the open market. Serious Competition While competition may be reduced due to an off-market sales strategy, it’s likely that any competition will be qualified and serious. Buyers are notified of off-market sales that meet their briefs, so it’s likely to tick their boxes if someone is looking at a property. O BUYING OFF-MARKETFAQS WHAT ISOFF-MARKET? An off-market property is a property that’s for sale, without being publicly listed and advertised online. WHYWOULDAVENDOR CHOOSEOFF-MARKET? There’s a level of anonymity that comes with off-market sales that typically appeal to high profile buyers, people having financial difficulties, relationship breakdowns, or dealing with a deceased estate. WHYHASOFF-MARKET BECOMEMOREPOPULAR WITHVENDORS? From saving money on marketing costs and more privacy, to a potential faster transaction and less pressure, multiple factors have increased off-market’s appeal. Want more property advice? Head to