Selling Off-Market

21st November 2022

Selling Off-Market

I suspect a trend is starting to emerge for London properties, particularly for those sub £1m.  

Previously only tending to occur at the very highest end of the market, nowadays off market property sales has become more commonplace.

In 2021, an estimated 98,235 homes were sold off-market, a 51 per cent increase on the previous year according to research by real estate fund Alliance Fund.

And I suspect a more cautious property market in 2023 will be a key factor with sellers opting to ‘test’ an ambitious price point without their property being splashed all over Rightmove and Zoopla and the digital footprint trail that can leave.  

In such instances, the agent handling the sale offers the property to buyers already on their books with the objective of selling discreetly without the need for formal marketing.

This can prove ‘alluring’ to buyers as they like the idea of having the opportunity to purchase a property that’s not ‘officially’ on the market.

A seller may get lucky pursuing this strategy but if not, they’ll have decisions to make if they agent has exhausted their database and failed to present a buyer.

Option 1 – Go for full marketing.  

Option 2 - Reduce the asking and possibly also initiate option 1.  

Option 3 - Go to ground until the market matches price expectations.
 

Recent Case Study

I wanted to mention one of my recent off market sales in Central Park, East Ham.

My clients were leaving London for a new build property they’d already put a deposit down for.  

Several weeks prior to this, I’d sold a smaller home in Plaistow for a lovely couple who wanted a larger family home, preferably closer to East Ham and they were struggling to find something that was just right.

I appreciate this isn’t rocket science but when the family in East Ham gave the nod to proceed with viewings, the couple in Plaistow were my first port of call.  

They loved the house and as they were already under offer on their Plaistow they were in a strong position and the right type of buyer to do an off-market deal.

Knowing the Central Park, East Ham house was not yet on the market, they made a strong and compelling offer to entice the sellers not proceed with formal marketing and advertising.

This worked and a sale was agreed at a strong price everyone involved was thrilled with.
 

But there can be pitfalls.  

I’d always suggest seeking guidance from 3 agents prior to any ‘off market’ viewings to ensure any asking price being tested for ‘discreet’ viewings is appropriate and not undervaluing the asset.