What is an off-market property? The pros and cons of off-market real estate

Thinking about buying or selling a property off-market? Off-market properties are properties for sale that aren’t advertised to the public.

What is an off-market property? The pros and cons of off-market real estate

Thinking about buying or selling a property off-market? Off-market properties are properties for sale that aren’t advertised to the public.

They offer benefits - like privacy for vendors, and potential savings buyers - alongside some drawbacks. Here’s everything you need to know about off-market real estate.

What is an off-market property?

An off-market property is a property that has not yet been marketed to the public. It is effectively a pre-sale reliant on real estate agents and word of mouth instead of major real estate platforms.

Off-market properties can be harder to find for buyers, who will need to work with multiple buyer agents.

The low-profile nature of the sale may appeal to high-profile people. Off-market sales are also referred to as silent sales or hidden listings.

Thinking about buying an off-market property? Speak to a UNO broker today.

Pros and cons of an off-market property

Whether it’s better to buy off-market remains debatable, according to Soho.

Nosy neighbours? Off-market listings can offer privacy. This makes them appealing to high-profile people or landlords with tenants.

Avoiding the masses can also be an effective way to filter out uninvolved buyers who could potentially waste one’s time.

Off-market real estate sales generally move faster, potentially saving on marketing costs as there isn’t a lengthy marketing campaign attached to the sale.

There are some drawbacks, though. Because the property isn’t on the open market, it may not attract the highest price possible.

Off-market properties sell for 2.6% less than listed properties, according to a PropTrack Report. This equates to $18,200 on a house valued at $700,000. Whether this is a loss or gain depends on if you’re talking to the buyer or vendor.

Homebuyers seeking to make a strictly off-market purchase will also need patience as stock can be harder to find.

Is searching for houses off-market exclusively a good idea?

Only looking at off-market houses for sale may be appealing to buyers in competitive markets due to the potential savings a vendor might offer in exchange for a quick sale.

Markets are slowing, though. The cash rate sits at a 10-year high of 3.1%. Meanwhile, auction clearance rates in the September quarter are down to 54.4% - a 15% decrease from the year prior - according to CoreLogic.

The sense of urgency associated with off-market real estate may not be worth the risk, particularly for first-time buyers.

Real estate is potentially the biggest purchase you will make in your life. It should not be taken lightly nor rushed.

Read more: A guide to buying your first home.

A step-by-step guide to buying an off-market property

  • Calculate how much you can borrow with UNO’s borrowing power calculator
  • Submit paperwork to gain pre-approval for a mortgage
  • Contact local buyer’s agents in the area you want to buy
  • Wait for the ideal off-market property to come along
  • Make an offer and settle

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