What are off-market, or hidden, properties?
Off-market, ‘hidden’, or private sale properties make up a significant number of sales in any given year. Therefore, they play a vital part in property movement, especially for buyers and sellers who want autonomy.
Off-market properties are not publicly advertised or listed on the open market. They may be owned by individuals or companies and not publicly available. These hidden properties may be sold privately, through word-of-mouth, or through an estate agent or broker who has a direct relationship with the owner. Knowing what ‘hidden properties’ might be available requires research and networking.
There can be a variety of reasons why people choose to sell their properties off-market. However, some common causes include the following:
- Privacy: Some individuals prefer to keep their property private and not publicly advertise it to avoid attracting unwanted attention or interest and any future hindering digital footprint.
- Speed: Private sales can often be completed more quickly than those listed on the open market, as there is less competition and the process can be more streamlined.
- Negotiating power: By selling a property privately, the owner may have more control over the sale process and be able to negotiate more favourable terms.
- Personal connections: Some individuals may sell their property privately to someone they know or through personal relationships rather than listing it publicly.
- Marketing: Sometimes, a property owner may test the market by offering the property discreetly before deciding whether to list it publicly. This can help the owner gauge the level of interest in the property and determine the best strategy for selling it.
It is difficult to accurately determine the percentage of properties sold off-market in London and the southeast, as off-market sales are not publicly recorded and can be challenging to track. However, it is generally thought that, in London and the southeast of the UK, a significant number of high-end properties are sold off-market (as much as 40%), especially those in exclusive or sought-after locations.