Expert Advice with Ahmad Imam
Many novice home buyers and investors spend hour after hour searching on property listing websites hoping to find the property of their dreams.
In reality, hundreds of other potential buyers are doing exactly the same thing, which means “their” property might ultimately end up being someone else’s.
Sophisticated investors, on the other hand, regularly pick up the very best investment grade properties that are never marketed online at all.
How do they do that?
Well, they often work with expert buyer’s agents with strong networks of selling agents who contact them directly when a quality property is for sale on the quiet.
These types of sales are called off-market, because they happen without the general public ever knowing about it.
There are myriad reasons why a vendor might want to sell their property quietly or without all the marketing bells and whistles.
It used to be because they were well-known personalities, for example, and wanted to keep their private lives somewhat private, including a usually high-priced property.
These days, however, it is far more common for off-market sales to be because of market conditions, timing issues, or cost considerations.
1. Market conditions
Now that we've moved into a buyers' market there are fewer auctions and more off market sales. You might be wondering why that is? Well, it’s because some properties that are slated to be sold by auction are actually available for sale before the campaign has even begun.
This is really a pre-market opportunity, because you get the opportunity to inspect the property and make an offer before it is publicly listed. We have bought many properties this way in quieter market conditions, especially with vendors who would rather secure a sale right now instead of nervously waiting for a result on an auction day that might be many weeks away.
2. Timing issues
In a similar vein, many off-market sales are because the vendor needs to sell quickly, perhaps because they have bought somewhere else already.
Likewise, the Christmas holidays might be looming, so they’d rather sell now than wait to list their property in another six weeks.
Another motivation more generally can be sellers who have special circumstances such as it’s a deceased estate or needs to be sold for a divorce to be finalised, so the owners don’t want to advertise their reasons to the wider world.
Understanding a vendor’s motivation in an off-market sale is just as important as any other sale because you can craft your offer to best suit their unique position.
3. Cost considerations
One of the other motivations for off market sales in slower market conditions is to do with costs. A marketing campaign can cost tens of thousands of dollars and many vendors don’t want to spend that kind of money in a market where their sales price is likely to be constrained as well.
Instead, they still engage an agent, but they forego all of the slick photography, creative copy writing, and cutting-edge videos and use the agent’s networks and databases to secure a buyer instead. Of course, this is where buyer’s agents are the most valuable because we represent qualified buyers who are ready to purchase.
That’s why agents contact us directly when they have a property off-market that they need to sell. Off-market sales can secure extraordinary properties for quite ordinary prices however, it is very difficult for the average buyer to be on the speed dial of an agent to take advantage of these opportunities.
That’s why the smartest investors work with buyer’s agents who have the clout and the reputations to secure the very best off-market deals for their clients.
Ahmad Imam is a director of Metropole Properties in Sydney, is a highly skilled wealth strategist and a passionate property investor. He has a degree in Commerce, is a licensed estate agent in both NSW and QLD and has personally coached and educated hundreds of clients to create wealth through property.
He is a regular commentator for Michael Yardney's Property Update.
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.