11.15.2023 Selling Advice

Behind Closed Doors: Why Are More Eastern Suburbs Properties Selling Off-market?

Behind Closed Doors: Why Are More Eastern Suburbs Properties Selling Off-market?

Off-market sales are rising again in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

We explore why and what it means for you if you’re looking to buy or sell.

Selling off-market, or without a public sales campaign, can be an effective way to achieve a great sales price in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. We have always sold a significant proportion of properties this way. But recently, we’ve noticed more and more homes being sold off-market, and more off-market interest from buyers too.

We explore why people choose to sell off-market, when and how it works, and whether it should be something you consider when you decide to sell.

We also look at how you can access off-market sales when you’re looking to buy a home.

1. The Prestige Property Boom

Off-market sales happen when a property is not listed for sale publicly and only advertised to qualified buyers in a real estate agent’s network. This is often an effective and popular way to sell prestige homes. That’s because the buyer pool for expensive homes is usually limited (although we’ve noticed it growing substantially recently). The potential buyers are also often a ‘known quantity’. That is, many buyers in this category either contact real estate agents directly to let them know they’re interested in acquiring a home with specific requirements, or they use a buyer’s agent who has connections with local agents.

Prestige buyers and sellers often value their privacy, especially if they have a public profile. An off-market sale allows them to negotiate outside of the media spotlight and in private. It also allows both parties to analyse the properties’ value and reach an agreement without the pressure of a public sale.

So, one of the reasons we’ve seen off-market sales on the rise lately has simply been the growing number of major sales in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. In fact, this year alone, Sydney has seen more than 40 sales over $20 million – and they’re just the ones the media knows about.

2. Shifting Seasonal Trends in Property Sales

There was a time when there were predictable, established ‘selling seasons’ in the Eastern Suburbs property market. Buyers and sellers were especially conditioned to list their home – or search for one – during Spring and Autumn. We’ve noticed that, since COVID, that’s no longer the case. Buyers are keeping an eye on the market year-round.

Going off-market to sell a property allows sellers to capitalise on this. For example, they can keep their home for sale over the summer holiday period – potentially even while they’re away – without having the stress of a full marketing campaign.

They also have the potential to take advantage of the fact there are usually fewer properties listed for sale in December and January, making their property stand out to interested buyers.

3. ‘Testing the waters’

The past few years have been interesting ones for our local property market. Prices rose aggressively from late 2020 until early 2022 before beginning to slide. Then, over 2023, they rose sharply again.

Weekly Market Insight
Receive Ben Collier's Weekly Market Insight directly to your inbox.
Sign Up
  • Enter your details to receive the report
  • Enter your details to receive the report
  • Enter your details to receive the report
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

In the face of rising interest rates and global uncertainty it’s little surprise that some sellers have become a little more cautious about listing their property for sale.

Also contributing to their hesitation has been a lack of stock for sale on the market, which has impacted their ability to find their next home if they do sell. This has been especially acute in the downsizers market.

Some sellers are choosing to list off-market to test whether their property will sell for their asking price without the expense of a full marketing campaign. If it doesn’t, they can either launch a full campaign, or can simply remove the property for sale and wait some more. That said, we’ve found over 2023 most off-market sellers have achieved good sales prices.

Should you sell your property off-market?

Selling your property off-market can bring huge benefits, but it’s not appropriate for every home, situation or market. Sometimes it’s most effective to run an auction campaign or try another sales method like private treaty or expressions of interest.

A good real estate agent will advise you on the best option for your home based on their experience and market knowledge.

If you sell off-market, nothing will be more important than the real estate agent you go with. That’s because you won’t be selling your home on the open market, so you’ll rely on their contacts and ability to spread the word among the right people.

How to access off-market properties as a buyer

Finally, if you’re looking to buy and want to access off-market homes, you’ll need to register your interest with local real estate agents so they can notify you when an off-market property that meets your criteria comes up for sale.

You could also consider engaging the services of a good buyer’s agent who has connections with real estate agents and is likely to have access to a range of off-market sales.

You can register for our off-market sales here.

Want more?

If you’re interested in buying or selling off-market in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, get in touch.