Off-Market Property – Is It On The Market Or Isn’t It?

Confused by the property phenomenon of “off-market property”?

Consider this. An estate agent rings you and asks if you would like to view a property. You ask them to send you the particulars, but there aren’t any. You look it up on their website – but it’s not there. Are there any pictures – well, no…. so, is it on the market? 

On The Market or Off-Market – What Does it Mean?

One of the best questions a buyer can ask when viewing property is ‘why?’ An understanding of a vendor’s motivation is valuable when it comes to negotiating, and finding out why a property is being marketed quietly is a crucial factor when it comes to securing it wisely.

There are a number of reasons why a property comes on the market without a fanfare. More often than not it’s simply that the vendor doesn’t want the associated hassle – people wanting to view who aren’t serious buyers; neighbours gossiping; staff becoming unsettled; or children needlessly concerned.  These ‘in the drawer’-type properties are sometimes termed as being on the ‘grey market’.

Another reason is that the best time for marketing doesn’t always coincide with a property being at its most photogenic. So an agent will start getting potential buyers around the property in advance of the full marketing material being produced.

Be warned however, pre-marketing is sometimes used as a device for ‘trying’ a property at a big price. The agents don’t produce any marketing material, and they offer the property to a few select buyers. If it doesn’t sell, they put it on the market officially at a lower price.

How Should I Proceed if I’m Not Sure if a Property is On The Market or Off-Market?

If you’re interested in a property that isn’t properly on the market, you need to ask lots of questions:

  • When is it likely to be advertised/appear on the website etc?
  • How many people are seeing it now?
  • What is the vendors’ situation – do they want to move quickly, are they serious about selling or are they just testing the market, have they found somewhere else to live? Find out as much as you can.

If you think you are being offered the property at an optimistic level, you would do well to take advice and find representation for yourself. Stacks will sometimes advise purchasers on a property they have found themselves, and we will assess how much over the odds you are being asked to pay. We will also advise you on how to go about securing it with the advantage of no competition, while negotiating the price to a more reasonable level. It’s not unreasonable to be asked to pay slightly more for a property if it means you have a clear run at it, but there are ways of playing the situation to your advantage.

Why not have a no-obligation chat with your local Regional Director now?

You may also be interested in

view more

How to Spot Red Flags When Buying a House Like a Professional Property Finder

At Stacks, we have been finding and buying property for over 40 years. We know what makes a good property and how to get a great price. As the oldest Property Search Company in the UK, we know how to spot a red flag when buying a house – but...

Property Buying Agents Explained 

At Stacks, we are property buying agents – we know all there is to know in the world of property, sellers, vendors, solicitors, and not to mention various areas of the UK. We know which properties are currently on the market (even if they’re not on the internet already). We work...

What is Gazumping? – is it a good idea?

Should you try and gazump on a house? As a buying agent, we come across gazumping; for the gazumped, it can be very disheartening and difficult to navigate. For the property seller, it can be confusing, and for everyone else, it’s just downright annoying.  Nobody likes a gazumper – even the selling...

A Guide to Sealed Bids

According to a new report from Stacks Property Search & Acquisition, despite low property transaction levels, a significant number of properties are still going to sealed bids. But what are sealed bids? What is the process? And how can we ensure that your bid wins the property? What are Sealed Bids? What’s...

Start your property search today

Call us on +44 (0) 1594 842880 or complete the form below

    Your Details

    Your property requirements:

    SoldThinking of movingOn the marketExchangingIn rented accommodationCash buyerIn need of helpOther

    We will never share your details with a third party. For more information about how we handle your data, please see our Privacy Policy

    How we can help you

    View our property finder services

    When making probably the most important financial decision of your life, it pays to have the right advisors at your side.

    Property Finder Service

    We search high and low, on the market and off the market, and we keep hunting until we’ve found the right property for you. Next we negotiate the best price and terms on your behalf. And then we make sure you enjoy a hassle-free move.

    Downsizing or Resizing

    Retirement or semi-retirement is an exciting stage in life. Finding the right home to live in and enjoy it to the full is important. We know that and will do all that we can to understand what you’re looking for… before starting to search. And search we will, until we find the house of your dreams.

    Moving from Abroad

    Relocating is time consuming and stressful. We regularly work with clients who live abroad. We hunt, short-list, prepare your viewings, and make the search process as easy as possible. We oversee the negotiations, manage the conveyancing, and deal with the headaches, so you can concentrate on other aspects of your move.

    Holiday Home Hunt

    A holiday home is often an interesting mix of investment and heartfelt connection. You want to use it, but you may well also be keen for others to use it too. We can advise you on what factors to consider in making your decision. And we can then find the perfect holiday home for you to enjoy.

    Investing in UK Property

    Others say, ‘location, location, location’. We say, ‘location, purpose, price, capital growth, rental returns’… the list goes on. Knowing the market is critical. Local knowledge is key. We ensure all aspects of your investment decision are addressed. Finding, analysing, negotiating, and completing… it’s what we do.

    “You showed fantastic attention to detail, anticipated all eventualities, and provided timely and practical help and guidance every step of the way.  Above all, you supported me in making my own considered decisions, and I am so grateful to you for all your help in getting me to where I am now!”

    “We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property.”

    “We felt they genuinely wanted to help.”

    “Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before.”

    “It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.”

    “Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me.”

    “Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification.

    “I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks”

    “Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations

    “You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset”

    “We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times”

    “I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.”

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Receive updates about the world of property, straight to your inbox.

    * indicates required