Garrington Property Finders: Uncovering the hidden property market

A black iron gate in front of what appears to be a red brick bungalow

According to Garrington Property Finders' Jonathan, recent data suggests that as many as one in 10 homes are currently being sold off-market - Credit: Paul Maguire/Shutterstock

Jonathan Hopper from Garrington Property Finders discusses the rising trend of property being sold off-market and how to secure these hidden homes

Selling off-market was long seen as the preserve of individuals in the public eye who didn’t want people peering at their decor on property portals, but this is no longer the case.

Recent data suggests that as many as one in 10 homes are currently being sold off-market. With properties actively changing hands away from the open market, buyers should be alert to the fact that there are potentially more properties to buy than can be seen on property portals.

Why are homes sold off-market?

Where once the decision to sell off-market was typically driven by the desire for discretion, now it’s likely to be about practicality as much as privacy.

Although it’s much easier to have an offer accepted on your next home if you’ve already agreed the sale of your current property, the scarcity of homes visibly for sale means that those with a good property to sell in a desirable location are likely to have a sale agreed very quickly, and then feel under immense pressure to find somewhere to move to just as fast. Selling off-market can offer a solution to this dilemma, as it gives sellers more control over the pace of the sale, and a longer window in which to make their dates align, not to mention the likelihood of a smoother sale.

An increasing trend

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Garrington has seen a shift in the surging popularity of off-market sales in the UK market. Historically, off-market activity has been greatest in winter, but this year the winter peak has continued through spring and into summer.

This shift in seasonality marks a trend that looks set to stay, and Garrington expects off-market transactions to continue to represent a significant proportion of sales moving forward. While it’s a method of sale most prevalent in the prime property markets, it’s not limited to the most expensive homes – properties of all shapes and sizes are likely to be sold this way on an ongoing basis.

How to find an off-market home to buy

For those aiming to buy off-market, registering your interest with local estate agents as a serious and proceedable buyer is a good start. But to access the full range of the hidden market you need to engage reputable and experienced buying agents, who will have already won the trust and confidence of a network of professional connections.

Good buying agents frequently hear about off-market properties first, and can quite literally put their client at the front of the queue. As the first to view a property, you can also be the first to put in an offer, which, if backed up by good intelligence and a strong buying position, can also be the most successful.

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