Hi, I’m Sam Price, director and lead Brisbane Buyer’s Agent from Templeton Property, and today I’d like to answer a question we get asked a lot about – What is an off market property, and how do you find them?
Most properties for sale in Brisbane are advertised on one or several of the main real estate portals such as realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and these are classified as ‘on market properties’. The listing of these properties online is often accompanied by professional photography, floor plans, brochures, staging, and regular open homes. However, there is another source of property listings that not only eliminates some of the stress of looking for property and competing against the masses but can also save you money. These are called ‘off market properties’.
What is an off market property?
An off market property is a property that is not being advertised for sale to the general public and is not yet on the market in the traditional sense. The vendors may have already engaged the selling agent and set the price in mind that they would like, though for a variety of possible reasons, have not officially listed the property for sale. During this pre-launch period, the selling agent may invite interested buyers in their database to inspect and consider the property with the aim to sell quietly, before ever being listed on the official market.
This form of sale has become more common since the Covid lockdowns and the escalating cost of advertising. Given that off market real estates are listed for sale without being advertised to the general market, the only way you know about these properties is to be made aware of them by the selling agent. Being privy to these off market listings can be a great advantage to a buyer.
Off market properties are also different from premarket properties, which are listings that are being prepared for an upcoming launch, often prior to photography being taken, staging installed and final presentation work being undertaken.
Why do people choose to sell their property off market?
Privacy and selling costs are the two main reasons people choose to sell their property off market.
For those in the social spotlight or reserved by nature, they would often rather not have their home and possessions put on public display for all to see. Alternatively, the sale may be a result of separation or financial pressures, and a quiet sale is in the best interest of all parties. Alternatively, selling costs attributed to staging, internet selling platforms such as realestate.com.au, photography etc. can cost in excess of $6,000 – $15,000 for a complete sales campaign. Given the opportunity, I believe most people would be very happy with off market selling if they could be assured that the market value was in line with their expectations.
Other reasons people may choose to sell their property off market include:
- Urgent sale due to financial pressures, ill health, or travel commitments
- Avoid the hassle of regular open homes and noisy neighbours
- Nervous about auctions, although keen to sell and would like to do so in a quiet manner
- The market is slow, therefore they’re not sure the property will sell, so undertake the sale off market to avoid the advertising costs
- Sometimes the property may be tenanted and access is restricted
- The owner may not have been planning to sell, though would consider selling for the right price
Are off market listings a better buy than on market properties?
When purchasing an off market property, the competition is usually a lot less than a private treaty sale or an auction, therefore the vendor is often willing to sell if the price offered is in line with their expectations and the sales evidence. Of course, a buyer must always do their due diligence and review the sales evidence available, as just because a property is being sold off market does not mean it’s not overpriced.
How do I find off market properties for sale?
As these listings are not advertised publicly, they are not easy to find and require considerable effort to hear about. As a buyer, you will need to contact all the local agents and be added to their databases and email lists. When we, as Buyer’s Agents are looking for a property in a particular area, we phone all the key agents in that area on a weekly basis, to learn about what they have coming up and potential off market properties they have become aware of. We also visit the agents at their open homes to discuss our client briefs and to build repour. It’s important to let the agent know the criteria of the property you are after and make sure that the off market properties provided meet your specifications.
It’s important to let the agent know the criteria of the property you are after – such as whether you’re seeking a residential or investment property – and make sure that the off market properties provided meet your specifications.
Following the agents on social media and looking at their off market websites and coming soon posts can also give you the head start on a property coming to market.
The large real estate listing portals of domain.com.au and realestate.com.au have also recently started promoting premarket properties, to allow the agent to market the property for a reduced fee, prior to the official launch in the coming weeks.
- Phone agents in the key suburbs weekly
- Follow the agents on social media
- Meet the agents at their open homes
- Door knock and or letter box the houses/complexes you like
- Register on the main real estate platforms for notifications of premarket listings
If you’re looking for assistance in discovering the perfect off market property for you, get in touch with us for a free discovery consultation.
What are the benefits of buying an off market property?
The nature of buying an off market property means that there is less competition from other buyers, and therefore there’s often a good chance that you may purchase the property for less than you would have had the property been listed and marketed fully. Given the reduced competition, the buyer usually has more time to do their due diligence and consider their purchase strategy and offer. This also can provide for a less stressful transaction time frame.
Have you ever noticed a property sold without having a for sale sign or open homes?
Chances are this property was sold off market, and the buyer was informed of the property by the selling agent directly. Agents are also encouraged to post their off market sale results on the major real estate portals, as it helps the agent’s profile and platform suburb statistics.
How can a Buyer’s Agent help find you an off market property?
As a Brisbane Buyer’s Agent, we are often first to hear about these off market listing, and more than half of our recent purchasers have been secured off market for our clients. We hear about these quiet listings because of our strong relationships with local real estate agents (having purchased through most of them previously) and we receive emails, text messages and calls on a daily basis advising us of off market listings.
As an office, we also send out a weekly email to each real estate agent in the suburbs we frequently work, letting them know the types of properties we are looking for at that time. We are on the telephone for hours at a time, calling a list of agents and enquiring what they have coming up that may suit our clients. Quite often, we have the opportunity to inspect a property at the same time as the professional photographer, which provides our clients with several days head start to the rest of the market. This allows us to undertake the due diligence and subsequently make an offer prior to the property being listed for sale. This provides our clients with an early bird opportunity to purchase the property before it hits the market.
The vendor also benefits from off market property sales by saving money on the cost of advertising, thereby saving thousands of dollars as well as the inconvenience of open homes etc.
If there is a property you have always liked though has yet to be listed for sale, we can even approach the owner for you and find out if they would consider selling for the right price. Our Buyer’s Agents often door knock homes and letter box drop streets and complexes if we are looking for a specific type of property. Although very labour-intensive, this is also a great way to identify off market property listings in Brisbane.
So, have a property-related question you would like answered?
We look forward to hearing from you.
Sam Price, Director & Lead Buyer’s Agent – Templeton Property Brisbane.