A recent news article suggested the existence of a "secret" property market. A market where, "savvy home buyers and investors avoid the pitfalls of buying at auction, where emotions run high and the quoted price is woefully unrealistic." This property market is the market of off-market properties - those properties that, for many reasons, are never advertised to the general public.
Properties that are never advertised to the general public?
Surely that would be absurd: how is a property meant to get sold if it is not advertised, and surely vendors achieve better prices for their properties when they are advertised?
The tides are turning
Enter the age of buyer's agents: skilled real estate agents who work for and on behalf of buyers, rather than vendors. Agents who use their knowledge of the market, properties, buyer behaviour, vendor behaviour, skills in analysis and synthesis of data - to put together a package service that fully and solely represents the buyer.
What about the vendor?
Vendors have traditionally been represented by selling agents. For many and varied reasons, some vendors are now choosing to sell their properties without the services of a real estate agent. They may wish to save on commission, marketing, property styling and other costs; they may prefer to sell their property themselves; or they may prefer privacy in the process.
Provided an agent - whether it be a selling agent or a buyer's agent - is able to bring together both parties to the transaction, there may not be a need for both parties to be represented by their respective agents. In the same way that selling agents maintain databases of buyers, buyer's agents maintain databases of off-market properties for sale. For buyers wishing to access off-market properties, engaging a buyer's agent is definitely the way to go. Not only do those buyers have access to all of the properties that are advertised, they also have access to those properties that are off market - including those that are not being represented by selling agents.