Scottish Field

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

- CONTACT Tel: 0131 564 1156 E-mail: www.garrington­

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.

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