Off-market listings have grown in popularity in recent years. For sellers, they offer privacy, a streamlined process and greater likelihood of finding buyers willing to pay the asking price. Buyers also benefit, gaining access to otherwise unavailable properties. Here is key information about what off-market listings are and how you can sell your house off market.
What are off-market listings?
Off-market listings, or pocket listings, are homes which might be for sale but are not listed on multiple listing services. Rather than be publicly available, it means that anyone in charge of selling these types of properties will need to work to find buyers.
Historically, this was not a very popular way to sell; however, as demand is continually increasing, off-market sales have become more popular in recent years.
For sellers, off-market listings can be a way to test the waters of the property market, keep their information private, save on commission fees or as a market strategy to try and boost the selling price by creating a sense of exclusivity.
How to sell your house off market
When selling your property off market, you sell directly to a buyer, either working with or without an estate agent. If you choose to work with an agent, they can share the list with a private network of buyers and offer the property as an exclusive. Alternatively, if you choose to go ahead without an agent, you can accept a cash offer from a property buying company. Unlike the typical way of selling property, your property will not be marketed publicly and therefore will not be accessible to the general public.
If you choose to sell your property off market, you will most likely need to take the following steps:
- Research the marketSee if the current market is a seller’s market i.e. demand for homes is high but supply is low. Understanding the current state of the market can help you assess the potential demand for an off-market listing.
- Find out the value of the propertyBefore listing the property, you will need to have an idea of the property’s market valuation in order to set a realistic asking price.
- Get your property sale-readyIf you are selling off market, you may need to do fewer repairs or staging than you might with a traditional listing. That said, it will still work in your favour to prepare your home and be sale ready. This will mean having any documents ready such as profit and loss statements, capital repairs, the existing lease and rent roll (if relevant).
- List and sell the propertyThink carefully about your listing. It is going to receive less exposure than traditional listings so make sure that the description and photos are eye-catching and attention-grabbing.
Why would you choose to sell off market?
There are several reasons why a seller may choose to keep a property off market:
Seller’s market – if there is a seller’s market, the seller is at an advantage and can wait for the right offer without the need to list their property publicly
Pocket listing – this is when a seller works with an estate agent to market the home privately and contact clients directly with the listing
Foreclosure with tenants – if a house is in the early stages of foreclosure, the seller may not want to list the property yet in case they do not want the tenants to know that the house is for sale yet.
Unavailable for showings – if a seller is not yet available for showings, they could take their house off the market temporarily.
Available soon – if a property is listed as “coming soon”, it may mean that the seller is testing the waters and gauging buyer interest before officially listing it.