Properties sold off market by a London agency found buyers more quickly, and for nearer the asking price, than those on the open market.
Data from January 2018 until today from Black Brick - well known for being a buying agency but also operating a managed sales service - shows that the average time it took to find a buyer when a property was sold off market was just 10 weeks, compared with an average of 37 weeks when marketed publicly.
In addition, Black Brick achieved on average 96 per cent of the asking price with off-market sales, compared with 92 per cent of the asking price when properties were sold on the open market.
“There is certainly a case to be made for sellers opting to go down a discreet sales route, particularly for special, rare and unique properties” says the agency’s managing partner Camilla Dell.
“Putting a property onto a web portal is not always the right choice for these types of prime and super-prime properties as finding the right buyer often is due to having the correct contacts and expertise.
“Online selling can be detrimental in the current climate as the property runs the risk of becoming over-exposed and would-be buyers can get the wrong impression if it sits on the market for a long time, believing there could be something wrong with the property.”
Dell adds:“By keeping a property off-market, it retains its value, exclusivity and desirability. The off-market approach won’t work for every property – but when you have something rare, special and unique, or particularly high value in a prime location, or owned by someone high profile, it can be very effective.”
She says off-market sales have come into their own during the current slowdown which has been much more prolonged than earlier downturns, although it has seen a shallower fall in average prices from peak to trough according to an analysis by Knight Frank.
Black Brick also cites a recent report from homebuying service PropertySolvers saying it takes an average of 16 weeks to sell a home in England and Wales, while Rightmove admits that a quarter of its listings in 2018 had been for sale for over six months.