Buying off market property in Sydney – is it worth it?

Buying off market property is an ongoing trend. You might recall on my earlier blog I chatted about how to find & buy an off market house because the reality is they’re becoming more and more sought after, especially here in Sydney.  And now, I want to help you figure out if buying off-market property is worth it.

Many of the off market listings we see are tenanted investment properties. When an owner decides to sell, the agent usually advises them that they need to present the property in its best light – which means getting the tenant to move out! Most of the time a tenant requires 90 days notice to vacate and this could be longer if they are in a lease. By the time you add in the time it takes to paint, re-carpet and furnish the place, you’d be lucky if you have sold before 4 months has passed. The alternative is to put the property on for sale “quietly” in the meantime.

Some off market properties are only available because the owner has told their agent; “if you can get me a crazy price then knock yourself out”. The seller hasn’t had to go through the ordeal of styling their property, making repairs, painting, gardening and all the final touches needed when they embark on a full marketing campaign. Sure, some crazy prices have been achieved but also some simply don’t sell.

More common in a slowing market are vendors who don’t want to over-expose their property to the market. They may not be confident they’ll get their dream price, so they don’t want to invest in advertising and an auction campaign. We are seeing more and more of them at the moment and some of them represent good opportunities.

When we identify a potential “secret listing”, we run through every check and every price comparison to make sure buying off-market property is right for our client. It’s essential not to get caught up in the hype and miss doing your due diligence when buying off market property.

Sure, from a buyer’s perspective, a home appears more “honest” because it’s not tarted up for sale (sometimes referred to as lipstick on a pig). On the downside, you will probably have an immediate task list to attend to once you settle to freshen up the place. So take off the rose-coloured glasses when buying off market property and really check if this is the right place for you.

Further reading:

Capital growth or yield? Which will make you rich?

Is it a good time to buy property in Sydney?

Published: 8 March 2017

Updated: 19 June 2018

Updated: 18 September 2019

DISCLAIMER: Good Deeds blogs/buyers tips are intended to be of a general nature. Please contact us for advice that is specific to your individual circumstances. You may also need to get advice from other professionals such as an accountant, mortgage broker, financial planner or solicitor.


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