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Richard Cleaver, Head of Residential, Shouler & Son, explains why & how ‘no publicity’ works for some sellers.

Off-market selling is a discreet service estate agents can offer to clients for whom the circumstances around selling their property are sensitive.

This could be because the vendor has a high public profile locally, nationally or internationally in business or the arts & entertainment fields.

Or, equally, there may be a personal, family reason surrounding the sale of the property following a bereavement, or couple separation or formal divorce.

In general, a property instruction for off-market selling will be at the top end of the market and it is agents who are comfortable in marketing premium properties who will take on an off-market instruction from clients.

While the estate agent will be as pro-active as they are with more conventional mainstream instructions, it will, of course, not be in the same obvious ways of promotion.

Without the usual advertising & marketing avenues and the fanfare of a property launching to the market open to estate agents when instructed to sell a home off-market, it’s a question of match-making and a discreet service more akin to that of a dating agency.

It is likely the agent will know the client’s plans to sell months in advance in preparation for taking on an off-market selling instruction.

And the agent give the client strategic advice about the optimum time to sell depending on the client’s priorities.

It’s not just a question of taking the instruction on and waiting for a potential buyer to stumble across the property.

Estate agents operating in this slice of the market may be in possession of a ‘waiting list’ of potential buyers who have made contact in the past.

Such buyers will have a very specific set of property requirements and are prepared to bide their time until the ‘right’ property is available.

Similarly, in knowing the seller’s plans in advance, the agent is able to link with their network of professional contacts in wanting to attract the right interest at the right time.

To find out more about Shouler & Son’s full range of residential estate agency services, see