The Hidden Property Sector
There has been a part of the property market that has been steadily gaining strength which I refer to as ‘the hidden property sector’. This hidden sector is the off-market sector, and remains hidden to many.
To the uninitiated, these are properties that are not available in the public domain. They are not listed on any of your favourite property portals and are on a confidential need to know basis only. Gaining access to these properties can be via the estate agents, whereby they are instructed on a low-key basis or directly to the vendors themselves.
In this digital age run by algorithms and online targeting, one could understandably think this was a somewhat backward step? However, this is where there has been a power shift in thinking.
Minimising the online footprint
No longer do some vendors want their homes (and names) blurted out online for their information to be available to all and sundry for years to come, with no control over the information released. Owners are ever more mindful of their online footprint and digital presence, where for a number of reasons they may wish to keep this to a minimum.
Going back to ‘old school’ basics
On the flip side, estate agents are finding that by going back to ‘old school’ basics, they are getting better and more profitable transactions over the line. Albeit the one major downside of selling a property off-market, is that you are not strictly testing the entire market. Therefore, is this the best price the market could have achieved? Only you can decide.
Getting access to these properties can be tricky, as often the properties are tightly controlled with information only being given to those known to be in proceedable buying positions. Again, I am seeing that reliability and security of buyers is paramount and often takes precedent over the offer amount.
Gaining access to off-market properties
As a buyer if you want access to these properties, you need to be in the best possible buying position and have the right connections to boot. Being ‘Under Offer’ is good, but it doesn’t have the same clout that it once did. This is primarily as legals and lenders take so much longer than several years ago. Bolt these into a small chain and you are already looking high risk in the eyes of vendors and estate agents.
It is therefore vital that you get as close to exchange as possible or ideally over this point, to have the leverage required to gain access to this club. Then the doors start to open…