I am seeing more and more off-market opportunities arise here in the inner city suburbs of Brisbane.  People often ask about off-market properties – why they exist and how do I find out about them?

Why would someone sell off-market?

  1. Divorce – For privacy reasons, a couple who is going through a divorce might not want a billboard in front of their house. They might not be ready to answer questions about why they are selling. The kids may feel emotional as well. They don’t need to be reminded every time they arrive home that this won’t be their family home for long. While it’s unfortunate, it’s the reality of life and may be a great opportunity for another family to secure a lovely home.
  2. Overwhelming preparation and process – Selling a home today can be a time-consuming process. Homes are becoming more immaculate in their presentations and, in the auction process, multiple open homes are often required each week. This means that immaculate state must be constantly maintained. Some sellers feel overwhelmed with the thought of it. Some homeowners work full time, some have young children and some just feel that life is already busy enough. If they have the option of showing a qualified buyer through and selling their home off-market many people prefer this more simple method.
  3. Relocating for work – When a family relocates for work purposes, often one parent will move ahead of the family while the other stays in the family home for the children to finish the school term or just to get their lives ready to uproot. In this case, many families feel life is already hard enough not having the family unit together and don’t want to go through a sales campaign without each other’s support. In this situation, many families prefer selling off-market and if an agent can offer a buyer from their databases they often will.
  4. Unsure what to do – Sometimes owners use the off-market system to test the waters when they are unsure if they want to sell or not. As an example, the owners may have the property as a rental. Perhaps they have seen the market performing well, but being unsure of future market trends, they are confused at whether it makes more sense to continue renting the property or to sell it. In this situation, they may offer their property off-market to see what they can get for it without the cost and stress of a marketing campaign.
  5. Post-market options – There are many reasons homes don’t sell when they first go to market, but these can still be great opportunities because it shows the owners are open to the idea.  Being aware by having experience in the market and knowing of these past opportunities may be a great place to broaden your search.
  6. Pre-market – Often an agent will conduct a private viewing of a home prior to launching the sales campaign in order to create hype and competition. This can work in a buyer’s favour if they are familiar with the market and in a position to act quickly. Often if a buyer can put in a strong offer with good conditions the owners will be happy to take the offer immediately and avoid the time and stress of the home selling process.
  7. Time wasters – These are the off-market properties you don’t want to worry about. These are owners that believe that if they put a high price above market value on their house someone will eventually pay it. Often the sales agent in these cases is just hoping to convince them to sell anyway.

These are just a few of the reasons off-market options exist in the industry, but they can offer opportunities to buyers who are on the look out for them. An off-market property doesn’t mean it is cheap, but it does mean that if you understand the market well you may have a chance of securing it before competition for it exists.

It takes a long time to know where to find off-market options and it comes from having strong relationships in the industry. In my work, I come across an average of 20 off-market properties a week across inner city Brisbane. They exist; you just have to know where to find them or work with a buyer’s agent to ensure you are accessing these off-market homes.