Selling your Brisbane property “off-market”
There’s usually a number of things that happen when prices drop in a real estate market. Buyers get cautious of paying too much (or even worse – their friends thinking they paid too much); investors sit on the sidelines waiting for evidence of a turn and capital gains; and sellers withdraw from the market unless they have a good reason to sell and meet that lower market. And in Brisbane’s inner-city apartment market we’re witnessing all of these right now.
It’s led to the next common symptom: a shortage of apartments up for sale. Yes you’re reading this right – some buyers are getting frustrated they can’t find what they’re after! The news reports are correct, there are lots of new apartment buildings going up, but for the most part these are pre-sold and limited supply is still coming to the market. Buyers of the 1 and 2 bed homes that are the ‘bread and butter’ of our re-sales market are finding slim pickings in their searches. And that’s why a market like this often leads to a fast-emerging trend: off-market sales.
One of the advantages of staying in your chosen profession for a long time is you can more clearly see the evolution of trends . When I became a real estate salesperson in 1991 I spent all day driving buyers from house to house, hoping to match them with anything on our books. Then in the mid 90’s agents realised our seller clients, who paid our fees, were getting rubbish service and we adapted to provide a new focus on property marketing and attention on sellers. Buyers then suffered with poor service and the emergence of paid buyers’ agents is a response to that.
It’s clear in today’s market that agencies are once again moving closer to helping home buyers. Technology’s made that easier and good agents (like us!) have extensive databases and are able to do a lot of matching of homes to buyers, well before we need to push the button for our sellers on full marketing campaigns. Yes the inter-web is full of new buyer prospects but if the salesperson is active in your neighbourhood there’s a good chance the likely buyer may already be among their contacts.
Home buyers are getting early opportunities to hear about new listings so they’re keen to be on these databases. They feel they’re being let in on a secret and can see the ‘fresh meat’ before it’s offered to the masses. Many are seasoned lookers, know what they want, have a good understanding of prices, and are ready to move when the right property is offered to them. We’ve made 3 off-market sales in this way in the past 8 weeks. And saved our seller clients a lot of time and marketing costs.
For those inner-Brisbane property owners wanting to sell but unsure if the market will respond at a price they’ve prepared to accept, it’s a great way to test. A free way to check if there’s a result possible without taking a photo, loading an ad to the web, or holding a string of open houses. And coinciding with this trend has been a big increase in the cost of actually going “to market”, with internet ad prices rises rapidly in the past few years. Our major portal increased their fee by 21% last month…
Of course selling off-market only works well if the audience of buyers is substantial. If the net’s not cast wide enough you won’t have enough prospects to really get a read on the market. Our agency’s database has in excess of 9,000 buyers and that gives us confidence.
If you’re looking to buy and would like to join our VIP database here’s the enquiry form. And if you’d like to chat with us about offering your property for sale off-market, please call us on 07 3214 6888 or here’s more info and your form. We’d love to help!