The selling off market pitch by an agent will usually begin along the lines of “we have a serious buyer that is prepared to pay above market price for a home, just like yours.”
What harm can there be in showing the buyer through? Well, if the buyer buys your home at a very good price, none. As many people are learning, the off market pitch becomes a pain when it does not sell.
If you are showing potential buyers through off market, firstly consider:
Do you, as a vendor, have a contract ready and available?
It is against the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 for an agent to show buyers through a property without a contract of sale. Many do though. If the agent breaches the Act here, what else should you be aware of?
Is the buyer being shown through by your agent of choice in the event you were to eventually go on the open market?
It is not a great look if a property is shopped around by a few agents over a period of time. By the time it reaches the open market, many buyers have seen it. What should be – and is meant to be – a fresh quality listing is subsequently old news to the best buyers in the market. If you go on the open market with a different agent to the off market agent, who is responsible for negotiating with the off market buyers? Messy!
Why hasn’t the buyer been able to find something on the open market?
The off market buyer is a common listing strategy employed by agents. Does the agent attempt to change the initial brief of this ‘one very genuine buyer’ to ‘why don’t we open it up to more buyers?’ The credibility of the selling off market pitch quickly becomes apparent at this point. The buyer pitch is more a listing stitch.
If the off market buyer is interested, is the agent capable of negotiating the best market price having only had one buyer through?
An off market buyer knows there is unlikely to be any other buyers interested, yet. Power is perception.
How do you know you have the best possible price if this one buyer makes an offer off market?
The reward for going to the open market is the best buyer and best price becomes apparent. Would this one special buyer also emerge during an on market campaign?
There is a wise saying in real estate about open listings – the best buyers end up negotiating with the worst agent. Do you want the best buyer negotiating with an agent you wouldn’t normally have selected if it weren’t for the selling off market pitch? Listings tend to be exclusive, buyers aren’t. Selecting an agent you feel most comfortable with and running a full campaign will bring the best buyers in the market to the surface.
The best agent will then deliver you the best price in an unambiguous manner.
The selling off market pitch becomes a pain when it does not sell. Particularly if you use another agent.
Selling off market can be a risk, but remember there’s more than one way of selling your home. Read about your options here.