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The Hidden Property Sector

September 2021

There has been a part of the property market that has been steadily gaining strength and which remains hidden to many – and that is the off-market sector.

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.

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.

On the flip side, 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.

Therefore, 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 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…