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Paul Bennett, Director

It was recently reported that 23% of homes in the capital were sold off market during the first five months of 2022. This figure follows news from Alliance Fund that found during 2021, almost 100,000 homes were sold off market – a 51.4% increase on the previous year.


Estate agent Behr & Butchoff is familiar with the concept of off market sales and here we answer the most commonly asked questions.


What is an off market sale?

An off market sale is sometimes known as a ‘secret sale’ as all marketing and business takes place behind closed doors, without public knowledge. Typically, a property sold off market will not have a ‘for sale’ sign outside, it will not feature as an online listing on property portals and it will not appear in an estate agents’ window.


How does Behr & Butchoff sell a property without publicity?

For the estate agents at Behr & Butchoff, our priority is contacting our waiting list of buyers whose requirements match the property we have been instructed on. It’s quite common to secure a buyer very quickly in this way, as our waiting list may have missed out on a similar property or they have very specific needs in terms of location, budget or property type.


What are the advantages of selling off market?

Off market sales are a good way to avoid time wasters. The lack of general publicity means the Behr & Butchoff team hand matches buyers with sellers, and we are not subjected to speculative enquiries from the ‘masses’. This ensures we concentrate on the genuine purchasers who are able to proceed, carefully selecting those we feel are worthy of a viewing and submitting an offer.


What types of sellers opt for an off market sale?

Due to its very discreet nature, off market sales appeal to sellers who value their privacy. Whether they are high net worth individuals, celebrities or just fiercely guarded people, an off market sale carries no outward sign that the property owner is moving. It’s also a great option for sellers who don’t want their property splashed all over the internet.


Are off market sales right for today’s property market?

As estate agents, it’s our job to read the NW London property market and advise our clients accordingly. St John’s Wood and its surroundings are highly desirable and we usually hold a waiting list of buyers. In fact, it’s highly likely that we already have someone registered with us who is waiting for a property like yours.


Behr & Butchoff is, however, monitoring the microclimate in London and we will create a marketing strategy designed to get the best end result – whether that’s a quick sale or an offer as close to the asking price as possible. Sometimes it may be best to expose the property to a wider pool of purchasers using the more traditional open market method of sales.


This is especially true if we feel multiple offers may drive the eventual sale price up. Our sellers can enjoy the best of both approaches when instructing Behr & Butchoff  – starting out with an off market sale and moving to the open market if necessary.


Is there an advantage for buyers?

The most obvious off market advantages for buyers is first refusal and the lack of competition. When a property isn’t advertised on Rightmove or a ‘for sale’ sign erected, there is a smaller volume of people who express an interest.


Purchasers wishing to exploit this advantage must register directly with an estate agent  - if they don’t, they will not hear about off market property sales. Behr & Butchoff diligently vets every buyer who wants to join our waiting list for off market opportunities. We qualify their property and financial circumstances so we know only the most authentic purchasers are given preferential treatment. Although stringent, the outcomes are most favourable, with better matches and smoother transactions.


If you have an interest in off market sales in the St. John’s Wood area, please get in touch with the Behr & Butchoff team.