Are Off-Market Properties Cheaper?

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Unveiling the Truth about Off-Market Properties by a Buyer’s Agent

Navigating the property market can often feel like trying to find your way through a labyrinth. With the constant hype around auctions and public listings and relentless competition from other buyers, off-market properties often seem more appealing than those listed on the open market. A realm where transactions are quieter and the competition is less fierce is very appealing. But are these elusive off-market properties really cheaper? As Sydney buyers’ agents who frequently transact on off-market properties, let us walk you through the ins and outs of off-market deals; what to be aware of; and how to approach off-market opportunities.

The Allure of Off-Market Properties

Off-market properties, often referred to as silent listings, are homes that are sold without public advertising. These properties are not found on the usual real estate platforms such as realestate.com.au and Domain. Instead, they are sold discreetly, often only known to a select group of potential buyers through their databases and through networks like ours at Buyer’s Domain.

Why Sellers Opt for Off-Market Sales

Sellers may choose to sell off-market for a variety of reasons. Some value privacy and wish to avoid the public spectacle of open homes and auctions. Others might be testing the waters on price or are in no rush to sell; preferring instead to wait for the right buyer to come along. In certain cases, it might be about the convenience and speed of the transaction, especially if the seller is facing personal circumstances that require a quick sale.

The Perceived Cost Advantage

There is a common belief that off-market properties are cheaper. The logic seems sound at first glance – without the costs of marketing and with potentially less competition, sellers might be willing to accept a lower price, particularly if they are seeking a quick sale. However, the reality is not so straightforward. The price of an off-market property is influenced by many factors, including the seller’s circumstances, the desirability of the property, and market conditions.

The Role of a Buyer’s Agent in Off-Market Transactions

Buyers’ agents can play a hugely significant role in brokering off-market transactions. As your local buyer’s agent, we have our fingers on the pulse across Sydney’s Inner West and Eastern Suburbs property markets. We maintain relationships with real estate agents, solicitors, and other industry professionals who alert us to off-market opportunities. We assess whether an off-market property truly offers value for money; whether there may be any red flags with the property; and we negotiate the best possible price on your behalf.

Advantages of Buying Off-Market

Buying off-market can have several advantages:

  1. Less Competition: With fewer buyers aware of the property, you may face less competition, which can sometimes lead to a better price.
  2. More Time: Without the pressure of an auction, you often have more time to consider the property and make an informed decision.
  3. Direct Negotiation: You can negotiate directly with the seller through your buyer’s agent, which can lead to a more personalised transaction.

But Are They Really Cheaper?

The answer is not a simple yes or no. While you might avoid a bidding war, the seller’s price expectations may be above market value if they are not under any pressure to sell. Everything may be for sale in Sydney at a price but consider if the property is really worth it. In other words, make sure that the off-market property is not merely being presented to “test the market” at a higher price point.

As your buyer’s agent, we conduct thorough market research to ensure you do not overpay for an off-market property.

Big Trap for Inexperienced Buyers

It is widely accepted within the real estate industry that bank valuations for off-market properties are less likely to stack up at the purchase price than a property openly tested on the public market, especially sold via auction. This is the case even if you consider that the off-market property is genuinely a good deal. Accordingly the best advice when purchasing off-market properties is to:

  • Try and negotiate for a 5 day cooling off period. This should give the bank sufficient time to conduct a bank valuation and approve the loan before the Contract becomes unconditional.
  • Conduct detailed research around the price of the property being purchased or alternatively use a valuer or a buyer’s agent to conduct the research for you.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient finance in place and a back up plan in the event that the bank valuation comes in less than the purchase price.

The Buyer’s Domain Approach

At Buyer’s Domain, we take a strategic approach to off-market properties. We:

  • Understand Your Needs: We take the time to understand what you are looking for in a property and why.
  • Leverage Our Network: We use our extensive network to find off-market properties that match your criteria.
  • Provide Comprehensive Support: From due diligence to settlement, we support you every step of the way.
  • Negotiate Strategically: We negotiate on your behalf, using our market knowledge to secure the best possible price.

Conclusion: The Off-Market Myth Busted

Are off-market properties in Sydney’s Inner West and Eastern Suburbs cheaper? They can be, but it is not a guarantee. The key to a successful off-market purchase is having a knowledgeable buyer’s agent by your side to navigate the complexities of the deal. At Buyer’s Domain, we pride ourselves on our ability to uncover hidden gems and to negotiate deals that truly benefit our clients. If you are considering buying a property, we invite you to contact us to learn more about how we can assist you in finding your perfect home at the right price. Remember, in the property market, knowledge is power, and as your buyer’s agent, we are here to empower you.

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