Secret selling is worth considering if you want discretion
sell itself, you need someone who is enthusiastic, sees the positives and will add real value.
There’s nothing new about this approach; high-profile individuals have long recognised the benefit of keeping their property away from the prying eyes of the open market. Sometimes people simply want to be discreet and don’t want to open their affairs to scrutiny by friends and family. As with most things in life though, there are definite pros and cons.
From the buyer’s perspective, there is a certain feeling of exclusivity associated with a property that’s for sale off- market, and that buzz may actually help to generate even more interest. Buyers in general like to feel they are getting access to something exclusive that only a handful of people have seen. This can make the property seem rare and may encourage an offer more readily.
For the seller, it’s an effective way of limiting viewings to known or vetted buyers, thereby eliminating the age-old problem of window shoppers or timewasters. An off-market sale also eliminates any embarrassment factor that might come on the open market with having to lower your asking price or failing to sell.
The potential downside to selling off-market is that the property will undoubtedly be shown to fewer buyers. Also consider that as fewer buyers see the property, there is less competition, which could result in a lower offer.
Across our offices in Yorkshire, there are always a selection of properties which are available under the counter for a variety of reasons. Having undertaken a number of off-market sales myself over the years, it is often the arrival of the removal company’s lorry which alerts the neighbours to a sale.
In order to successfully implement an off-market sales process, your agent needs to have an active list of prospective purchasers who will react positively to an approach.
A reputable estate agent will have developed close relationships with buyers and to have built up their trust and confidence sufficiently to and understand their requirements and encourage them to look beyond their set criteria.
So, which is the best option? Consider expectations on both sides; how serious is your prospective buyer? Are you on the same page when it comes to price range? Buyers may wonder if they’re paying too much, while sellers might worry they could get more money on the open market. This is the risk both parties take in an off-market deal. At the end of the day it is all about compromise.
If there is no need to protect your identity and there are no sensitive issues surrounding the sale, choosing the right estate agent and marketing the property openly will usually be the most effective route.
Choose just the one agent carefully and make them work hard for you – and that means getting the best price possible within an acceptable time frame.
If you are selling a property within a high-end price bracket then selling off-market may be worth considering. Many buyers at the top end will be represented by agents who will have first access to properties being marketed privately or quietly.
They will be able to invest time and energy in researching and targeting the right individuals for your home, ensuring you only get serious and suitable buyers through the door from the outset.
Tony Wright, Carter Jonas, Harrogate, www.carterjonas. co.uk