Secret properties for sale that every buyer should know

Estate agents, from time to time, have a secret stash of properties for sale.

In the business, this surreptitious listing is called “off-market” and every buyer should know that.

Off-market means that the seller has not paid for a public advertising campaign, either online or in newspapers and magazines.

Instead, they rely on their agent’s little black book of contacts to close the deal.

For some sellers, it’s a way to test the market and see if a buyer will meet them on price, before committing to advertising expenses (in addition to agent fees). In a shifting market like this, it’s an option in their kit bag.

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Agents have a “little black book” of potential buyers to match with off-market properties. (Unsplash/Andrew Neel)

For this reason alone, you want to be on the call of potential buyers invited to see off-market properties.

This is where a buyer’s intent can be so compelling.

Compare finding a property to courting a lover.

Imagine you are going on a first date. Do you wear cologne or perfume? Do you take them to restaurants? Or do you walk around in sweatpants and take them to a drive-thru? It depends on how serious you are, doesn’t it?

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Four-bedroom estate house rates
Off-market involves negotiation and an acceptable offer. (Domain)

The same goes for approaching a real estate agent. Will you say and do the things that show you mean business?

It starts with knowing your budget exactly and maybe going as far as having a pre-approval sorted with a lender.

If you’ve done these things, an agent will see that you’re a safer bet and show you their off-market selection of properties for sale.

Contracts are signed and exchanged if the parties can agree on an acceptable offer.

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At the high end of the market, up to 70% of properties are sold off-market, agents say. This is due to the low-key nature of the transaction (they don’t much like their neighbors knowing their stuff).

However, off-market is increasingly available at all price points.

When you next open for inspection, ask an agent what they have off the market at the price, size and type of property you are looking for. And be the one they call when a new supplier, dodging an ad campaign, slips the keys on their desk.

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