Something to look out for when deciding to sell your property ‘off market’.
More and more owners of properties that wish to sell, choose not to openly market their homes with estate agents. Their preference for ‘off market’ - not actively marketing the property through the normal methods - can sometimes prove very successful
Exclusivity, pretentiousness, snobbery or simply being private in one’s affairs are all different reasons as to why both buyers and vendors enjoy buying or selling their properties off market. A buyer may feel that they are being offered something that no-one else may have seen or having first choice before anyone else.
Occasionally it can be very embarrassing and awkward if it back-fires, as the following story illustrates!
A highly respected selling agent had persuaded a vendor client after some considerable time and effort, that selling their country house off market; without any advertising, floor plans or photographs, would be the right method.
It is obviously a challenge to persuade clients interested in purchasing property to travel from London to view just one property being sold off market, without any property information in advance of a viewing. Trust and managing clients’ expectation plays a significant part of the working relationship.
The clients arrived to view the property, situated in the heart of the Hampshire countryside (that was not being openly marketed) with their children. Unannounced, the clients had also invited a close family friend to join them who happened to be the landlord of the local village pub who was also a known-gossip. As this old friend obviously knew the area and all of the local community he joined them simply to offer his local knowledge and to indulge his interest in country houses and local architecture.
The front door opened, and the pub landlord - a well-known businessman and community member (not to mention his gossiping status) was recognised!The shock and look of horror on the faces of the vendors was spectacular. All of the considerable efforts for keeping matters private seemed to have backfired in moments. What made things worse was when the clients whipped out their mobiles, including the landlord friend and started to take photographs without asking!
Following the viewing it was explained to our clients the embarrassing position the vendors had been put in. Conversely, our clients’ intentions were totally innocent and unintentional; notes of apologies were conveyed which helped lessen the situation.
The outcome of the one-off viewing resulted in a successful negotiation between both parties and contracts were exchanged within three weeks with completion due later in 2017.