Why you should beware of selling your property off market

It’s a familiar situation for many: You are selling your property, and you don’t want to go through the long and drawn-out affair traditionally associated with a sale. You find an offer for your property independently, and it seems like a good one. So, why bother putting your property on the market? Why not just sell to your off-market buyer?

While it is tempting, selling your property off-market is also fraught with risk. It may provide you with the sale you need, but you should be wary about pursuing this option. Here’s why.

Market forces can be very positive for property sellers

The property market, like any other, is subject to market forces. For example, if one buyer makes an offer of $200,000 for a property listed on the market, they recognise that there are other potential buyers and that they may have to increase their bid if necessary. If multiple buyers come in — all competing for the property — this naturally pushes the price up.

If you choose to sell your property off-market, you are missing out on this competition, and therefore you could be missing out on a great price. Sure, you can — and certainly should — get your property valued by a professional, and this will give you a good indication of how much it is worth. However, time and time again, market forces push property prices way beyond the valuation, but only if the property is listed on the market.

Experienced buyers may not always have your best interests at heart

If a buyer comes to you and tells you that they will make you an excellent offer, better than anything you are likely to find in the traditional market, think about what they will receive in turn.

While most property buyers are fair and honest, this is still a high-value transaction, and it makes sense that a buyer will try to get the best deal possible. With property transactions, even shaving just a few percentage points off the market value can result in thousands of dollars’ worth of discrepancy. So, be wary of any advice you receive.

The money you save on advertising and listing may not always represent good value

It costs money to list a property on the market and advertise it for sale. Of course, if you opt to bypass the market altogether, you do not have to spend this money, and you end up making a saving.

This is where you need to do some careful research into the market. Are the values you might be saving worthwhile? If properties are going above the asking price in your local market, the answer might be no.

In conclusion: Proceed with caution

If you must sell quickly, and if you want to keep your property sale private and away from prying eyes, selling off the market can work. However, ensure that speed and privacy are your key objectives and that you are willing to sacrifice a bit of value to achieve these. It all comes down to your main aims for the sale.

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