Uncovering the hidden property market
Scottish property finders Garrington discuss the rising trend of property being sold off-market and how to secure these hidden homes
Selling off-market was long seen as the preserve of individuals in the public eye who didn’t want people peering at their décor on property portals, but this is no longer the case.
Recent data suggests that as many as one in ten homes are currently being sold away from the open market. With properties actively changing hands this way, buyers should be alert to the fact that there are potentially more properties to buy than can be seen on property portals.
Why are homes sold off-market?
Where once the decision to sell away from mainstream channels was typically driven by the desire for discretion, now it’s likely to be about practicality as much as privacy.
Although it is much easier to have an offer accepted on your next home if you’ve already agreed the sale of your current property, the scarcity of homes visibly on the market means that those with a good property to sell in a desirable location are likely to have a sale agreed very quickly and then feel under immense pressure to find somewhere to move to just as fast. Selling off-market can offer a solution to this dilemma, as it gives sellers more control over the pace of the sale, a longer window in which to make their dates align, not to mention the likelihood of a smoother sale.
An increasing trend
Across all of Scotland, Garrington has seen a shift in the surging popularity of selling privately, pre-market or entirely off-market. Historically this activity has been greatest in winter, but this year the winter peak has continued through spring and into summer.
This shift in seasonality marks a trend that looks set to stay and Garrington expects these ‘hidden’ transactions to continue to represent a significant proportion of sales moving forward. While it is a method of sale most prevalent in the prime property markets, it is not limited to the most expensive homes, with properties of all shapes and sizes likely to be sold this way on an ongoing basis.
How to find a ‘hidden’ home to buy
For those aiming to buy a property that is not being marketed on the open market, registering your interest with local estate agents as a serious and proceedable buyer is a good start, but to access the full range of the hidden market you need to engage a reputable and experienced buying agent who will have won the trust and confidence of a network of professional connections in addition to the estate agents.
Buying agents frequently hear about homes being sold privately, prior to full advertising or being sold entirely off-market in advance of others and can quite literally put their client at the front of the queue.
As the first to view a property, you can also be the first to put in an offer, which, if backed up by market intelligence and a strong buying position, can also be the most successful.
Garring ton’s property consultants help buyers to find and purchase properties that meet their lifestyle requirements. Their local expertise and in-depth knowledge of the property market helps homebuyers to consider a wider choice of properties and purchase more effectively.