Buying Off-Market Property: A Guide

Why Sellers Might Sell Off-Market

Selling property off-market offers sellers a confidential transaction. Few people will know that their property is up for sale. Off-market sales are sometimes used by people who would prefer that their business contacts, creditors, ex-partners or neighbors and others do not know that their house is up for sale.

Celebrities, high-profile figures and high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) sometimes sell off-market for reasons of confidentiality.

Selling off-market means that vendors don’t have to deal with potentially large numbers of buyers, a large number of viewings and negotiations with many buyers.

Some off-market sellers do so to avoid estate agents’ fees or because they do not want to deal with estate agents.

Selling off-market avoids putting a seller’s asking price in the public domain, which can be a benefit to some sellers. (When a property is listed on portals like Rightmove or Zoopla the asking price is available to anyone and can be recorded for future use. With an off-market sale the sale price will not be publicly available until the sale is completed and it is recorded at HM Land Registry.)

Another reason for off-market property selling is that an owner might not be sure that they want to sell and are just testing the market. In other words, offering a property off-market may be a pre-marketing exercise.

In some cases, a seller might know that a particular buyer is very interested in buying their property. So they feel there is no need to offer it on the market. This can happen if their property is an unusual or unique one.

In other cases, a property owner might have had no intention of selling at all. But they sell because they receive an off-market offer that is too good to refuse.

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