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Treak’s guide to buying off-market

Welcome to the Treak Real Estate Property Update: our regular round-up of news from the Sydney and national property markets, as well as what’s happening right here at Treak!

Why 2022 demands a new buying strategy

In the Sydney property market we find ourselves in - and we hate to use this word again - unprecedented times. In 2021 Australian property prices rose 23.7% - the biggest 12-month jump ever recorded. While this price growth has cooled since the start of 2022, the fact is that there still aren’t enough good properties on the market to meet the overwhelming demand for property in Sydney.

Those looking to buy may have spotted a trend; properties are being snapped up instantly - often before most buyers know about them.

So today we’re going to do something a little different, dedicating our entire newsletter to a single and increasingly important subject: buying off-market.

Treak’s guide to buying off-market

To better understand what an off-market property is, we should first understand what an on-market property is. These are the homes listed on platforms such as REA and Domain that place you in direct competition with other buyers.

All property buyers know the feeling: you arrive at an open inspection only to see 20 others falling in love with it while you do, and weirdly this only makes you want it more. This feeling can result in you paying over the odds for a property, particularly in an auction situation (sometimes those auction paddles seem to lift themselves!)

Off-market properties, on the other hand, haven’t officially been put up for sale yet. There’s no listing on REA or Domain, no sign boards out the front, no professional photos or open inspections. Off-market sellers are usually looking for a quick and discreet sale, without the associated marketing costs nor the stress of potentially having their property passed in at auction.

4 benefits of buying off-market property

1. Less competition and stress

Securing a property off-market can significantly reduce the competition that tends to drive up property prices. At worst you’ll be competing with a couple of people, but often you won’t have any competition at all! This also reduces the stress associated with a property purchase and avoids auction altogether.

2. More properties to choose from

Every off-market property you have access to is an extra property that other buyers don’t have access to. More properties means more choice, which in my opinion is the best reason to consider off-market property stock. At Treak, 50% of our total property purchases - and all of our purchases this year - have been bought off-market. Our clients simply wouldn’t have had access to these properties if they had just conducted an online search.

3. More time

If you spot a property you love, but that is going to auction in a few days, the urgency can lead to stress and snap decisions that mean you pay over-the-odds. Off-market properties, meanwhile, rarely demand a similar rush, because the competition isn’t as intense. This gives you time to do your due diligence, set your maximum budget and ensure the property suits your needs. You also have more time to negotiate, (hopefully) bringing the seller closer to where you’re at. They’re less inundated with offers, after all.

4. A better deal

Ultimately all the above can equal a lower price. And as the seller hasn’t had to spend money on things like marketing, they’re often open to an offer at or below the market rate!

That’s the why, and a compelling why it is. Now let’s look at the how.

7 tips for buying off-market property

At Treak we have extensive experience in connecting our clients with off-market opportunities, and over our time we’ve developed a bit of a playbook to help our clients secure these purchases. Here are our top seven tips for buying a property off-market.

  1. Visit real estate agents’ websites in your preferred areas and browse their listings. Some properties will be listed as ‘off-market’ or ‘coming soon’.

  2. Call or email agents in your local area and ask about off-market listings. Calls are more effective, though it’s best to both call and email to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities. At Treak we make 100 or so calls every week for our clients, and have an extensive database of agents in the Inner West and Eastern suburbs. We can pinpoint the right agent in the right area for each of our clients, which helps us to avoid spamming other agents (which ultimately won’t help with your search.)

  3. Register for off-market releases on This tip comes with an asterisk, as we’ve found that a lot of these properties are actually pre-market disguised as off-market, meaning they will eventually go onto the market, usually within a fortnight.

  4. Build relationships with agents. If you tell them you have your finance pre-approval they’re more likely to spend time with you. Talk to as many property professionals as possible, giving them your budget and your list of non-negotiables.

  5. Avoid dilly-dallying. Sure, you usually have a bit more time to play with in off-market purchases, but you should always be ready to undertake your due diligence and put in your offer within a few days of inspecting a property. The longer a property is available, the more people will see it. Off-market transactions tend to be finalised sooner than listed properties as vendors usually want to sell quickly. If you move quickly, you’re less likely to get into a bidding war.

  6. Arm yourself with the facts to strengthen your hand during negotiations. Get as much information as possible from the selling agent - ask about things like vendor motivation and potential competition. This is usually a bit easier for us as buyers agents - selling agents tend to trust us, so they’re usually quite frank. Find out whether the property is pre-market or a true off-market, as this will guide your buying strategy.

  7. Consider hiring a buyers’ agent. At Treak we have the time, skills, experience and network that can prove the difference in finding the perfect property at the perfect price. We maintain good working relationships with local agents, which grants us access to more off-market properties, and helps us to close deals effectively. Add in our unique market insights and you’ve got a recipe for success!

Ready to buy? We’re ready to help!

At Treak we understand the challenges of entering the property market, and we’re passionate about helping buyers in their quest. If you’re looking to secure your dream property, we’d love to offer our off-market expertise.

We make purchasing off-market a simple and fun process, so just give us a call to hear how we can help!


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