James Rawes and his wife had been thinking about buying a holiday home in the countryside for some time and in January started searching in earnest. They thought it would be straightforward: they had remortgaged their London home and were using savings to purchase in cash, plus they had a wide search area of up to two hours west of the capital. They were mistaken.
“The competition was intense and we kept missing out to other buyers who were somehow able to snap up homes before they ever came on to the open market,” says Rawes, 54, a property consultant. “The properties only appeared on the agent’s website after they’d sold.”
In April the couple heard, through the buying agency Garrington Property Finders, about a six-bedroom farmhouse with an acre of gardens in a pretty village near Warminster, Wiltshire, being sold off-market. “It’s just what we were looking for — something initially for holidays, which would become our full-time home once our youngest child, now 15, has flown the nest,” Rawes says.
He and his family had spent months missing out on other houses, so offered 7.5 per cent over the £1.3 million asking price — their £97,500 sweetener paid off and they exchanged contracts last month.
Frenzied demand from buyers and a shortage of properties for sale have led to a boom in these off-market sales, where homes are sold without being listed on an estate agent’s website or a property portal. This year a record one in ten properties in Britain have changed hands this way, according to Hamptons estate agency.
Jonathan Hopper, chief executive of Garrington Property Finders, says: “Selling off-market was long seen as the preserve of the rich and famous who didn’t want people peering at their decor on property portals. No longer.”
The Covid pandemic upped the appeal of private sales as owners could limit the numbers of buyers coming to see their homes, explains Carol Peett, managing director of West Wales Property Finders. http://www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk “Also, many off-market properties we find belong to the elderly who cannot cope with an onslaught of people. Other reasons for selling off-market may be divorce or change of circumstances, which sellers want to keep private.” …..
The Sunday Times – 12th June 2022 – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/why-one-in-ten-properties-are-sold-in-secret-cjx2zrj9k
If you are looking for a property in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Ceredigion, give West Wales Property Finders a call on 01834 862816. We can find your perfect property for you whilst saving you time, stress and sometimes money too.