Garrington Property Finders: Nothing for sale?

A stone house surrounded by trees

There is a vibrant ‘hidden market’ active in the UK - Credit: Garrington Property Finders

Jonathan Hopper, Chief Executive Officer at Garrington Property Finders, explains that despite an apparent lack of property for sale, there is a vibrant ‘hidden market’ active in the UK

In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor extended the existing Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday for a further three months, with a lesser reduction continuing until the end of September 2021. Keen to make the most of this tax discount homebuyers have been out in record numbers leaving most estate agents’ windows and property portals looking depressingly short of exciting properties for sale.

While the first quarter of the year is typically a time for homeowners to contemplate and plan the sale of their property, the pandemic is clearly playing its part. Anecdotally, we hear that some homeowners are reluctant to invite buyers into their homes and others are holding off launching their property whilst the uncertainty remains. However, there are a significant few who are willing to discreetly offer their home to buyers on an ‘off market’ basis.  

While some buyers are vaguely aware of this method of sale, many hold the false assumption that only high value homes are sold this way. This ‘hidden’ element of the local property market has opportunities for all budgets.

Why do sellers choose off-market?  

There are no hard and fast reasons why certain homes are sold off-market, but likely influences will be the prevailing market conditions and a seller’s personal circumstances. Over recent years delicate and private sales resulting from death, divorce, debt, or being well known locally, are frequently cited as motives for keeping a property sale off-market. Garrington is often contacted by prospective vendors directly and always welcome the opportunity to discuss a possible private sale. Equally, with so little prime property openly available for sale at the moment, some sellers have become wary about selling too quickly and then not finding anywhere to move to. Selling quietly to a patient buyer offers both certainty of sale and confidence to look in earnest for a new home without the usual pressures.


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Good news for buyers?  

On the face of it, being able to purchase a property off-market sounds appealing for a buyer as the property will usually be freshly available and there will be less or no competition from other buyers. However, buying off-market can come with compromises. Sellers will often expect more flexibility with timescales, as they most likely will not yet have found a property themselves, and they will expect to achieve a full price, to prevent the property from being formally marketed and made available to other buyers. The art is to negotiate a deal where both buyers and sellers are happy and neither feel outdone by the price and conditions agreed.  

How do property finders find off-market homes?  

The key to a property finder’s success - and more importantly, the value they offer to a client - is their contacts and involvement in their local community and surrounding areas. Contrary to popular belief it is not just the local estate agents that contribute to the supply of off-market options provided to property finders. Discreet information regarding properties available to purchase away from the open market can come from all manner of sources including solicitors, tax advisors, landscape gardeners, interior designers or architects, for example. Having been offered off-market opportunities, clients of a property-finding firm can enjoy ‘preferred buyer’ status. This is due to a seller or their agent taking comfort from the fact that the buyer has chosen to be represented in their search, which further underlines their commitment to a transaction. In situations where a seller only wants to reveal their intention to sell to a select number of people, property finders are towards the top of the list to be notified. While finding the right property to purchase in prime areas is likely to remain challenging, it is by no means insurmountable with the right experience, contacts and access to all options in the market.  

Garrington helps buyers to find and purchase properties that meet their lifestyle requirements. Their local expertise and in-depth knowledge of the property market helps homebuyers to consider a wider choice of properties and purchase more effectively. 

If you are considering your moving options in 2021 and would like further information on how Garrington can save you time and money making the right decision, contact 

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