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What does homes being sold ‘off-market’ mean?

More homes were sold without appearing on the open market in the first quarter of 2021 than in any similar period since 2007.

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Research shows that 37,070 homes were sold ‘off-market’ over that period, up from 20,830 during the same three months in 2019.

The capital drives the market

The term ‘off-market’ refers to a sale where the home has not been marketed to the general public in the normal way. The sale will have been arranged via a buying agent, representing clients who do not wish to get caught in a bidding war in a volatile property market. Such agents offer to save their clients time and show properties which would otherwise slip under the radar.

The capital traditionally drives this market, attracting wealthy buyers, many from overseas. One in five sales in the capital were off-market in the first quarter, up from 11 per cent in 2019. These buyers will need legal representation and when looking for a conveyancing solicitor London offers many options.

Other than the involvement of buying agents, the vendors selling agent may also circumvent the market by referring to their own list of clients looking for a particular kind of property.

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The strength of the market

The latest data also revealed the strength of the market, with over 30% of the off-market sales being finalised with offers over the asking price, this compared with the overall 25% average for regular sales.

The UK market has reacted strongly during the Covid-19 pandemic, due to both the move to working from home and the government’s stamp duty legislation and help for homebuyers.

This has meant a surge in searches for a conveyancing solicitor London again leading the way with enquiries booming.

In the past, off-market sales have been limited to the wealthy buyer, and properties attracting premium prices. Reports suggest however, that more affordable family homes are now entering this market, and not only in London.

One of the reasons this approach is attractive to vendors is that they may attract a better price for their property by off-market than through a traditional listing. In the case of the latter potential buyers can visit property portals and see the original asking price, and whether it has been reduced. With an off-market sale this is not possible, nor do buyers know how long the property has been on the market.

Some experts believe that vendors of desirable properties across the country may be tempted to try the off-market option well selling their property since they may attract a better price, and if a sale fails to materialise, they still have the option of going down the traditional route of listing their home.

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