STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT ONLY – The rise of “Quietly on Market”

One of the leading website portals today indicated that my postcode in Mount Street had 14,670 potential “registered buyers” to see the property when the details were added and the property goes on the market.

As the total number of properties sold over the last 4 years totals just over 500 units in Mayfair & St James’s this over exposure seems somewhat excessive.

Wetherell have seen an increasing number of properties coming to the market as “off market” – available only for the chosen few – no details on the internet – discreet telephone calls made only to vetted buyers known or recommended by our agency.

Traditionally there have been three methods of property sale:

  • Private Treaty (For Sale, caveat emptor and subject to contract)
  • Auction (established reserve with secret minimum bid, 10% and sold when the gavel strikes)
  • Tender being either Informal Tender (best bid, caveat emptor and subject to contract) or Formal Tender (with closing date and bankers draft for 10%).

Before the internet gave data to the masses, the intellectual copyright for property for sale was in the gift of the vendor’s estate agent who through their established business had the turnover and knowledge to advise on price and marketing to applicants who had registered with them and more importantly had been vetted by them.

Nowadays potential buyers or “voyeurs” can drop into the street with Google, see a video armchair tour of the property, download the floor plans and look up the history of sales in the area.

Vendors however like the benefits of “testing the water”.  Quietly on the market with viewing strictly by appointment with a guide price puts the onus on the buyer.  It allows the agent to put all the pressure on the side of the buyer by asking them to name their maximum price.

As soon as the “best bid” is selected, a non-returnable deposit can be requested for a contract to be issued to proceed to a swift exchange of contracts.

If an acceptable offer is not received by the end date then the property can proceed to a Private Treaty method of sale and hit the internet with all those 14,670 potential “registered buyers”.

Wetherell are currently instructed on about £200 million of property openly available for sale but additionally have nearly half that amount again being offered as “off market”.

We have specialised in Mayfair for over a quarter of a century and as an award winning estate agents for marketing and service we recognise that not all vendors want their property to be openly marketed for personal reasons – the biggest being privacy.

They want to eliminate the property voyeurs and have a focused marketing campaign directed to buyers who are seriously looking and other Ambassadors who know the buyers looking in the market and have been asked to recommend.