Off-Market Deals Become More Commonplace in Housing Market


Tanya Sterling
Jan. 22, 2020


East Hampton, NY—This year’s housing market will be defined by off-market deals. These deals are generally high-dollar residential and commercial real estate properties that are not listed on any publicly accessible source. In some instances, prospective purchasers may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Although this trend is prevalent among wealthier families in high net-worth areas, it is increasingly becoming standard practice for traditional homeowners and business owners.

“Owners are increasingly turning to brokers to facilitate deals without ever listing their properties,” observes Noel Roberts, an agent for Nest Seekers International, an international real estate firm. “A seller who already has their property listed with an agent wouldn’t call them up and say, ‘lets sell it off market.’ But some sellers instinctively ask agents they are interviewing, ‘Do you know anyone who wants to buy my house?’ instead of, ‘can you list my house?’”

There was a surge in off-market deals between September and December of 2019 and the trend is continuing as inventory is high given numerous real estate projects nearing completion, so the “real estate market is correcting,” says Roberts.

Some sellers, however, want to test the market to see if there is an appetite for their property, and subsequently turn to brokers to determine if there is any interest without having to list their asset.

High profile buyers and sellers in particular prefer to keep their transactions private to prevent speculation as to why they are buying or selling. Some sellers have a particular price in mind for which they are willing to wait, and properties that spend an extensive amount of time on the market can lose value.

Clients needs to overcome these hurdles to ensure their property gets maximum exposure.

“It’s obviously ideal for a property to sell as quickly as possible. A property that has been available for an extensive amount of time could indicate an issue with price or desirability,” says Roberts. “If a property has been sitting on the market for a while and if a seller can afford to wait, I sometimes recommend taking the property off the market to reposition it. An example of this is updating the photographs or the staging, developing a new marketing strategy, and re-listing the property at a later date.”

Roberts also predicts that 2020 will be a great year to buy property.

“Entry level and affordable homes have been under-built as the industry has focused on the high-end, where there is more profit. In markets like New York and Florida, there’s a tremendous amount of high-end inventory available for buyers to negotiate great deals. With low interest rates and a strong economy, I predict the first half of 2020 will trend slightly higher than the year prior.”




Noel Roberts Noel Roberts
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson