Top tips on how to find off-market properties



There has been a notable increase in the number of properties being snapped up immediately – and, in some cases, before they have even been placed on the market, as Britain’s booming housing market maintains a year-long breakneck sales record.

With a significant proportion of properties being sold for more than originally asked, as buyers bid against each another, some shrewd investors are looking to ensure that they are not being caught out by the rising price of incessant bidding wars.

Money.co.uk teamed up with Sophie Cope, an expert at Mojo Mortgages, who revealed just how you can find yourself a property and reduce the competition when it comes to offers.

Sophie Cope, home buying expert at mortgage broker Mojo Mortgages, said: “Before viewing any property, it’s important to do your research to get a rough understanding of its market value and not be swayed too heavily by other factors such as pressure from the agent, emotion, or current market conditions. Yes, offering 10%-plus above the asking price is likely to result in a successful purchase, but it could end up coming back to bite you in the future when going to sell the property.”

In order to get ahead of the game, here are three tips you can employ to reduce the competition amongst other potential buyers where possible.

  1. Network with your local agents

If you’re planning to view multiple properties in your local area, you’re going to become accustomed to regular calls and meetings with many different agents, so it makes sense to build and develop these relationships as early as possible.

Now that restrictions have been lifted, one of the best ways to do this is to pop into your local estate agent and get to know the agents and put a face to the name. This is also a prime opportunity to ask about properties due to come on the market imminently and express your interest. If an eventual seller needs a quick sale, the pressure on an agent can be dramatically reduced knowing they already have a potentially interested buyer in line – particularly if you have no chain and want to move quickly!

  1. Maintain a strong relationship with your neighbours

It may sound obvious but another effective way of finding out when properties are due to come on the market near your current residence is to keep in touch with your neighbours. Mention that you are on the hunt for another house nearby and you may be surprised how often someone has heard of somebody local that’s looking to move in the near future.

Don’t be afraid to ask for an ‘in’ to any potential sellers ahead of the property going on the market – having conversations with the seller ahead of the sale formally going to market could save both buyer and seller thousands of pounds.

  1. Keep an eye out for new developments

Look out for construction notices that may indicate building is due to commence in the area in the coming months, as this can often be the trigger point for those that have been thinking of moving for a while to finally up sticks.

This could be the development of a new retail or business park, school, or leisure facility – something that may benefit one homeowner but is seen as a hindrance to another.

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