What Does Off-Market Sale Mean?

Have you heard the word off-market listing and wondered what it means?

An off-market sale means a property that is selling or has already sold with no public advertising, with real estate agents contacting interested buyers privately.

Sometimes sellers choose to accept an offer without formally ‘going to the market’ and advertising on the real estate portals or in magazines or the newspaper.  

This can be advantageous to the seller especially if the purchaser offers a strong price in order to lock out any competition.  It also quickens the sale and avoids having to spend money on advertising.  But be warned, an off-market sale doesn’t always deliver the best results especially when their is no competition because it’s hard to know if you’re accepting the best price possible.

Anyone who is high profile prefers an off-market sale because of the anonymity it offers. Sellers with scheming families or neighbours can also see the benefit in keeping their home’s sale private.  Often sellers who are looking for an off-market sale are usually those in relationships/marriage collapse, financial trouble, deceased estates or the seller may be facing job changes. Whatever their reason is, the one thing they have in common with is their need to sell quickly with the least amount of people knowing about it in order to focus on the more important issues in their lives.

Important to know is that off-market properties are usually only available for a brief period of time and they are usually the outcome of perfect timing.

Advantages of an off-market sale


  • The competition is weak so you may be able to purchase for a lower price. You may be the sole buyer who knows the anonymous listing and this exclusivity can mean getting that property for a lower price than if you bought in an open market.
  • High probability that your offer will be accepted. Even if your first offer is below market price, the seller may consider accepting your offer to avoid having to prepare the home for open homes and inspections as well as avoiding advertising fees.


  • A fast sale – if priced keenly.
  • Normally sold with additional terms and conditions. When a seller prefers a silent sale, the fast sale usually contains more conditions, including shorter settlement periods, higher deposits, or inclusive of any structural flaws.
  • Avoid having to present the property for open homes and inspections
  • Avoid advertising costs.

Disadvantages of off-market sale


  • You still need to find a home that checks all your requirements, such as location, features, condition and price. This may mean additional footwork.
  • Who you know will make a big difference and it requires a long time to establish those insider relationships.
  • Absence of marketing materials, which means you can’t create a visual list of potential off-market investments.


  • High probability that you will sell at bargain price compared to if you advertise your home.
  • Zero possibility of going to auction or capitalising on the huge passive market of people who regularly go online to search for investment or owner-occupied properties.
  • You may still lose, despite believing you can save money by not advertising. The reality is that they cost themselves tens of thousands of dollars because off-market will not offer the competition of a marketed sale.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What motivates vendors to sell off the market?

People who opt for an off-market sale are typically going for either a fast sale or private sale. For these people, selling the house is more important than the sold price.

The anonymity of an off-market sale usually attracts high-profile people or those who want privacy in their sales process.

  1. Can you purchase property that is not on the market?

Yes. But you will need the help of agents to find off-market properties. It’s important to get to know the agents in your chosen location so that you can work with what may be available.

  1. Can you remove your home off the market then re-list later?

Yes. Your home may be taking too long to sell and you and your agent decide that re-listing later is the best strategy to take.


Although selling off-market properties is a growing trend in Newcastle, One Agency Pinkerton Properties has been selling off-market properties since the agency was launched in 2013.

If you’re thinking of selling your property off-market this year, contact Annette Pinkerton on 0418447856 to discuss how this can work for you.