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Listing Loop: Three myths about selling off-market

Selling a property off-market may not be a new concept, but it has gained a lot of traction in recent times.

It’s not uncommon to drive around the streets of any major city or town and see a ‘sold sign’ appear out the front of a property when just 24 hours earlier, there was nothing there.

Not even a ‘for sale’ sign.

Off-market doesn’t mean a property is not for sale; it just means it’s not typically advertised through the mainstream channels.

There are many benefits to selling a home off-market – for the vendor, the buyer and the agent.

These range from vendors saving on advertising costs to agents or agencies not having to carry that cost until settlement and qualified buyers getting the first pick of the properties.

But as with anything ‘different,’ there are often a few myths that get perpetuated along the way, and I’d like to dispel the three most common myths about selling off-market.

1. That you don’t get as high a sale price as you would with an on-market campaign

It only takes one buyer to close a deal. One of the good things about off-market campaigns is that they create a fear of missing out. Buyers are often prepared to pay a premium to secure a property they love because they’re scared that if more buyers find out about it, someone else will snap the home up.

Celebrity homes are regularly sold off-market for record prices, and the same happens in premier suburbs such as Toorak, in Melbourne, or Vaucluse, in Sydney. Off-market is a more discreet approach, which some sellers may favour if they sell for personal reasons, such as divorce.

At the end of the day, if a vendor doesn’t like the offered price, they don’t have to sell their home for that amount.

2. Agents or agencies don’t get as much brand exposure

What’s better brand exposure than having a vendor tell their family and friends that their agent sold their property in a short timeframe, at a good price and saved them a lot of money in advertising costs? Agents themselves will tell you how word-of-mouth and referrals are the best kind of brand exposure you can get.

Agents also get exposure through Listing Loop, with our platform set up to feature the agent or agency’s branding on listings as well as the invites they send to clients to join the marketplace.

Many agents also use social media to talk about their successful off-market sales, while another trend we have seen increase is putting up a signboard with a ‘sold off-market’ or ‘sold in 24 hours’ sticker on it.

3. Unless you do mass marketing, you don’t get in front of the right buyers

Buyers that know about off-market properties are often more qualified than those just browsing on a traditional portal. They are more likely to have their finances in order, know where they want to buy and know exactly what type of home they want.

Buyers for off-market properties can come from an agent’s database, but even those on Listing Loop have to register with their name, email address and mobile phone number, so we get a better quality of buyer.

We match properties to buyers and alert the buyers in real-time as soon as a property that meets their criteria is listed on the site. Buyers don’t have to scroll through endless pages of listings hoping to find the right property.

Because they’ve registered, we put the right properties in front of them.

Other benefits of off-market sales

There are many other benefits of selling off-market, but the one we hear a lot about is that price ranges are protected. If the price of a property drops from $700,000 to $650,000, it doesn’t end up in search engines such as Google and that reduces the opportunity for buyers to make low-ball offers.

Offering an off-market campaign or a two-step pre-market/on-market campaign can also help agents win listings. Many vendors like the idea of a quick, private off-market sale but appreciate knowing they can advertise their property in the traditional sense as well.

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Rhett Dallwitz

Rhett Dallwitz is the co-founder of ListingLoop.com.au, a marketplace for pre-market and off-market properties that helps agents get appraisals, win listings and sell properties faster.