Buying off-market: ways for buyers to find homes before sales listings go public are no longer just for the ultra wealthy

Many buyers are finding that the best way to secure a property in a market that is extremely tight is to find one that has not yet been publicly listed for sale. Hamptons data shows that 20% of London’s sales in 2021 were off-market. This figure rose to 25% for homes valued at?1million or more. This hush-hush method for property buying was once reserved for the wealthy. However, buyers in the sub-$1 million range are now looking for ways to secure their dream home before they hit the open market. Traditionally, a buying agent is the best way to get access to off-market properties. A buying agent acts for the buyer and pays a registration fee. Louise Matthias used Edington for help in buying a one-bedroom flat at Belsize Park. She found the market too competitive and contacted Mark Wells of Invisible Homes to arrange a viewing. He made an offer and the property was taken off market that day.” She said. Mark Wells, a former buying agent, saw a gap in the market. Invisible Homes is an online portal that allows buyers to access off-market properties and estate agents to a pool of motivated buyers. He stated, “I wanted to democratise off-market housing markets. Invisible Homes is available for free to buyers, while estate agents pay a monthly subscription cost of?375 after a three-month trial. Although it attracts buyers it is still the agents who conduct the viewings. “Our current focus is on a small area of south-west London. The plan is to expand across London in the coming years, into 2023, and then to the rest of the UK by 2024. “READ MORE” What not to buy now: The six types of London homes that could prove to be a poor investment. Queensway property goes up for sale. Crossrail property hotspots. Elizabeth line stops at the highest house price growth. Michael Foley purchased a Fulham property with two bedrooms for?720,000 through the site. He said that he tried all major agencies but felt they only wanted to sell me properties they had, and not help me find the right property for me. “Invisible Homes listened to my requirements and matched me with the perfect property. Within 72 hours, I submitted a purchase offer. There are other options if you don’t have the funds to hire a buying agent or live outside the Invisible Homes area. 1. Drop leaflets in letterboxes if you have a street in mind and ask if anyone is interested in selling it. 2. Establish a good relationship with estate agents and call them often to find out about new properties. 3. Ask your family, friends, and neighbors to listen. 4. You can approach your landlord if you’re renting and are looking to buy your home.