Estate agents are increasingly using low-key ‘grey’ marketing to avoid too many prospective buyers swamping them when homes go on sale.
That’s the claim of buying agent Anthony Pearce of Stacks Property Search, who says the increased labour and time required to meet Coronavirus protocols with regard to viewings and working from home make a flood of prospective buyers unwelcome.
“Agents have lists of buyers who are pre-qualified in terms of finance, intent and readiness to progress. For the best properties, they are recommending quiet marketing so they’re not inundated with requests for viewings” he says.
“Quiet marketing involves withholding properties from the portals, or sometimes uploading a brief outline with little detail, a general but non-specific indication of location, and no pictures. Agents will contact suitable buyers on their list and aim to sell the property without ever going to the open market” he continues.
“Estate agents are working in challenging circumstances, many report lists ‘as long as their arms’ of keen buyers, they’re working remotely, preparing full details is time consuming, and dealing with new unknown buyers who are browsing the portals is pushing them to the limits. Grey marketing, or quiet marketing, used to be reserved for vendors who didn’t want to go public or wanted to test the market; but now it’s becoming a more mainstream way of selling efficiently.”
Pearce says any prospective buyer who is on a hot list - and therefore may get advance notice or full details of a property that is otherwise marketed quietly - should expect to pay a premium for the privilege.
“It’s not a transparent market, establishing the correct market value can be difficult, and if you start haggling too hard about the price there’s a good chance there’s another buyer behind you in the queue who’s prepared to pay. The trick is to make yourself look like a very attractive buyer – cashed up and sounding serious” he advises.
He urges buyers to get themselves on hot lists by “badgering the Bejeezus out of the agent making them aware of your intent and proceedability” with reliable funds.
Pearce adds that such buyers should make themselves easily available to view at a moment’s notice, follow all protocols to the letter, and not to linger if considering making an offer.
“Proceedability is king, vendors will go for cash buyers where the deal can be done quickly even if the offer is slightly lower” he adds.