On Market vs Off Market Sales

Will selling off market affect your sale price?

What you need to know before selling your home off market


There is a saying in real estate almost as old as real estate itself – “you can’t sell a secret”. And yet selling properties off market – where they are not publicly advertised but instead real estate agents contact interested buyers privately – is a relatively new ‘fad’ that is gaining some traction and favour.

The objective of an off-market sale is not to show the property to the entire market, but rather to a handful of ‘very qualified’, targeted buyers that the agent is working with. This is in the hope that 1) they can introduce the right buyer and 2) this buyer is both willing to pay a premium and ready to transact.

For sellers, off-market sales can work out cheaper as they don’t require an advertising budget and they can transact quickly, with a minimum of fuss.

But this is very contingent on your agent knowing the exact and perfect buyer who will emotionally engage with the property, and who is ready to buy and pay a premium – discounting every other possible buyer in the market.

That’s a big dependency, and you need to weigh up the pros and cons. Think about it – the general public is kept in the dark about your sale, with fewer potential buyers coming through your property for inspections. This can mean less, or no, competition is created. Yes, it might be less time consuming and less pillows to fluff for open homes, but at what cost?

The on/off market trade-off
For some sellers, a quicker and more private sale may trump their desire for a higher sale price, but for majority of sellers, achieving the highest possible sale price is the ultimate goal.

In our experience, off market sales can sell for less than on market, well promoted homes, precisely because of the interest and competition stimulated through online and print media. Particularly as we transition from a strong to a stable market, it’s a numbers game – the more people that know about your property, the more people are inspecting the property, which leads to stronger interest.

We recommend serious sellers should always advertise and promote their property in order to generate as much interest as possible, create competition and ultimately achieve the highest sale price possible.