Off-Market Sales a Win-Win for Buyers & Sellers

I’ve been talking to a number of homeowners lately who are interested in selling their house, condo or TIC—but don’t know where they’ll go. The fact that we’re in a seller’s market is great for them, but it’s also daunting when these homeowners think about competing with other buyers and purchasing their next home in a timely manner. Many have children, hectic lives, and busy jobs, all of which make the thought of buying and selling property a logistical nightmare.

One option to consider is selling your home off market. I’ve had seller clients achieve this very successfully, and it benefited them in several ways. They could skip the time and money spent on staging their homes, as well as avoid throngs of people coming through their home (many of whom probably wouldn’t end up writing offers, anyway).

Sure, there’s the widely held belief that the more buyers who come through, request disclosures, and write offers, the higher price a seller will attain. This is not necessarily the case. We’re all familiar with the “list-low” strategy aimed at attracting every possible buyer to the property, but in the end, what sellers really want are the handful of offers from the most qualified buyers who are paying a desirable price.

In an off-market scenario, sellers can list their property a bit closer to the price they’re really looking for, and it’s also a great way to test the waters on that price without the clock ticking in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and on Redfin and the other sites buyers reference for days on market and other details. And savvy buyers are typically willing to get with the program and consider meeting a seller’s price when they realize that they won’t be competing with the general public for the property. (Many buyers in San Francisco would prefer to opt out of seeing staging and low list prices and cut to the chase of getting the home they want at a fair price that’s in line with the comps.)

Sellers can also breathe a bit and get more flexible timing in off-market sales, particularly if they don’t know where they’re going next. Obtaining what’s called a “rentback” allows a seller to remain at the property for a 30-60 time period while they find a new home and purchase that property. This can be done on or off market, but such a scenario could also include some time up front for the seller before the buyer even gets his or her loan process going.

If you’re a seller, consider your off-market options. I’m discussing this type of sale with multiple homeowners, and have a marketing strategy in place. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to chat in more detail about your real estate situation.

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