by Liane Fletcher
What many new buyers aren’t aware of is how to get into the ‘off-market’ property inner circle. Previously only accessed by the elite buyer group and through buyer’s agents, Liane Fletcher shares her tips on how to get in.
With reports of property prices hitting their peak and auction clearance rates cooling, the market is finally giving new homebuyers a chance to get in. In the ever-changing marketplace, off-market is the new “on” market!
Traditionally the only way to find out about an ‘off-market’ property listing was to be on a specific agent’s database or to pay for a buyer’s agent to get the insider tips and negotiate for you. There are other options, but there are a few things to note when buying an ‘off-market’ property.
Firstly, to confirm, an ‘off-market’ listing is through either a ‘quiet' listing, those that are never publicly advertised, or a ‘pre-market’ listing, those offered for sale prior to a public advertising campaign commencing.
So, how does one magically find out about ‘off-market’ listings?
1. Contact every agent in the area
Contact every agent in the area that you wish to buy in and ask to be added to their database for off-market sales. This can be time-consuming, but the face-to-face interaction can help to build a relationship with local agents in your chosen area.
2. Pay for a buyer’s agent to do the work for you
If you engage the services of a buyer’s agent, they will charge you a fee to do the groundwork for you and reach out to their connections.
3. Attend all open homes in the area to meet agents and ask to get on their database
Pounding the pavement may help you to work out what you do and don’t want when it comes to properties and streets in your selected area, but again it can take up your Saturdays!
4. Door-knock houses you wish to buy
It can be difficult to know when property owners are home, or if they are interested in selling. But as they say, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
5. Use online websites
Websites such as Property Whispers can offer to match interested buyers with off-market property. When a match is made, both the buyer and agent will be alerted and the negotiations can begin.
When looking to purchase ‘off-market’, timing is crucial and having instant contact with the selling agent is key. Buyers should also have their finance and pre-approvals in order prior to engaging with an agent to avoid disappointment, as ‘off-market’ properties traditionally don’t last long.
In many cases, buyers do not get in touch with many agents as they don’t know which ones have the off-market properties that suit them. We live in a time-poor society, so look for ways to make life that little bit easier and let an online matchmaking platform do the groundwork for you.