Are Off-Market Sales Drying Up?

Ashley Boland and | 6 months ago
Are Off-Market Sales Drying Up?

Off market sales became popular when Sydney’s property market was white hot. 

Off market sales have always existed. But they started to become a standard feature of the Sydney/Illawarra property market in the strong conditions that existed between about 2013 and 2017.

That’s because going off-market has always been a strategy that tends to work very well in tight property markets, especially for high-end properties. With limited supply and enough interest in a property, it can let a seller cut straight to the people most likely to buy without the need to go through a lengthy public market campaign.

What’s happened to off-market selling lately?

The downside of off-market selling is that it generally requires an existing pool of interested buyers. That means, as a seller, you’re reliant on your real estate agent to have the right contacts and to understand their requirements, as well as what they value in a property and what they’ll put their best for forward to buy.

For this reason, some sellers are more hesitant to list off-market when the property market is flat, reasoning that this is exactly when advertising needs to be more wide-reaching and more elaborate, so the net is cast as wide as possible. They also think buyers will go into a transaction thinking they don’t want to overpay, especially without the “social proof” of an auction.

How off-market listing works in a slow market

For instance, the summer break is usually considered the slowest possible time. It’s when people are more interested in socialising, holidaying or relaxing than in property and fewer people are in town to visit open homes. But, actually, this is the perfect time for off-market sales.

When people are looking at property in late December and early January, you know they’re serious buyers. And yet, there is little stock on the market – sometimes virtually none.

As a seller, you can be confident you’re showing your home to genuinely interested people who want to make a move but can’t find anything that meets their requirements. If yours does, they’re often motivated to make a strong offer.

The verdict

If you’re considering selling and your property has the kind of characteristics discerning buyers are looking for, you can consider listing off-market.

After all, the lack of stock is one of the defining factors in the market right now. If you’re willing to price your property correctly, you will attract interest. At the same time, you’ll have all the benefits of privacy and convenience that an off-market listing brings.