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Agent Speaks

Michael Wilson, Mountgrange Heritage SalesSocial Networking seems to have taken over the world – but networking has always played an important role in the world of business, with many a deal struck over lunch or behind ‘closed doors’. It seems that more and more London property transactions are being carried out in the same way.

This growth in the “grey-market” raises some interesting questions with respect to the way that buyers rely upon up-to-date information; the kind of information which is clearly not available if a sale is handled off-market.

We have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of off-market sales – handling several transactions with values ranging from £500k to £6million just the last year alone. So, in the context of the Central London property market this process is by no means limited to an elite few. High-profile buyers and sellers use off-market deals specifically to avoid the type of public scrutiny given to more orthodox property transactions. But is the ability to avoid the usual ‘bidding war’ just something enjoyed by the well-heeled and those in the know, or are off-market transactions worthy of wider attention?

So where does a buyer begin their quest for off-market property deal? The savvy buyer will tap into the networks of local key estate agents and make their requirements known, when your network is well-oiled, the grapevine will reveal that a certain property might be available at the right price. This sort of networked negotiation is as much about establishing insight and intimacy as it is about sheer financial acumen.

Personally, I am surprised that off-market transactions don’t occur more frequently. It’s more of a cultural consideration that drives sellers to the open-market, they expect this forum to deliver greater exposure, which it does, but exposure is not always a valuable commodity when selling a prime asset.

For the uninitiated there are some simple tips. As a buyer, never make an offer until you have ascertained the ‘real’ value of the property you want to buy and what, if any, premium you are prepared to pay to secure it. There will certainly be a premium.

As a seller you’ll need to choose a local agent with the necessary creativity and guile to get the desired result.

If you would like to discuss current and future opportunities to buy or sell ‘off-market’ then please contact me at your convenience.

Michael Wilson
Director – Head of Sales, Mountgrange Heritage
020 7243 7888
Posted: 4 May 2011