Is Selling a House Off-Market a Good Idea?

hand taking a red cloth off a miniature house. Concept of off market selling.

Are you thinking of putting your house on the market? Are you struggling to find a buyer for your home? Perhaps you’re interested in finding a property to develop? An off-market sale could be a great option for you.

What Is an Off-Market Property?

Most people sell their homes via an estate agent that advertises the property locally and online. The alternative is to sell your property off-market. This means that it will not be advertised on the mainstream market — there will be no ads on property portals or in estate agents’ windows. Regular buyers will not be able to find any “for sale” adverts using traditional methods. 

So, how does an off-market property sell?

Properties that are not on the market are sold directly by the homeowner, who is typically seeking a quick house sale or wants to sell discreetly for some reason. This could be due to illness, divorce or a death in the family, for example. There are many reasons why homeowners opt for a speedy sale that does not involve strangers traipsing through their homes during viewings. If a property is being sold off-market, this doesn’t mean there is a problem with it.

There are several ways to sell a house off-market. You could try to find a buyer privately, sell at auction, use a part-exchange scheme (if you’re selling to buy a new build) or sell to a cash house buying company

Download our guide, “Top Tips for Choosing a Quick Sale Company You Can Trust

Is Selling a House Off-Market a Good Idea?

For potential buyers, off-market properties can represent a great opportunity to pick up a bargain that no one else knows about. For sellers, an off-market house sale is a cost-effective option that allows them to avoid the expenses that come with traditional sales, such as estate agents’ fees, conveyancing fees and all the costs associated with maintaining a property during the lengthy wait for a buyer.

Selling off-market often results in a much faster sale, and if you use a quick house sale company, your house will sell regardless of the current property market. You’re also less likely to encounter timewasters; if someone has made an effort to find off-market properties, they are a serious buyer. Some people choose to engage the services of an agent to find suitable buyers and manage offers, but the fastest way to secure a guaranteed sale is to use a house buying company. A reputable company with the funds to buy your property for cash can remove all the hassle and offer completion in as little as seven days after a formal offer is made.

If you own a rental property, most professionals would advise you to serve notice to end the tenancy before marketing the property. This allows you to clean and make any improvements necessary, but it also makes the sale process even longer than it already is via the traditional route. When selling off-market, details of the property can be circulated to interested parties immediately without giving notice to tenants — who only need to move out when the sale completes (if the buyer wants them to). This means no expensive void periods when the property is sitting empty and not earning any rental income. 

If you’re after a quick sale because of difficulties with relationships or debt — details you’d rather keep out of the public arena — selling off-market is a much more private option than advertising on the open market.

Any homeowner who needs to sell their home fast and is more concerned with achieving a sale than what the final sale price is should consider an off-market sale to a cash home buyer.

The Pros and Cons of Selling to a Quick House Sale Company



  • No estate agent fees
  • Lower sale price
  • No legal fees (if you use one of our solicitors)
  • There are some unscrupulous companies 
  • Faster sale
  • No viewings
  • Less hassle and stress
  • A discreet sale
  • A guaranteed sale

What Are the Potential Pitfalls of Selling Off-Market?

Most off-market property sales will result in a lower sale price than properties advertised in the traditional way. However, there are no estate agents or conveyancing fees to pay, and, when selling to a house buying service, there’s no need to spend money on repairs and home improvements in a bid to secure a buyer. When these savings are taken into account, the difference between the amount you’ll walk away with from an off-market sale compared to a traditional sale is surprisingly little.

Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous companies that claim to be “genuine cash buyers” offering a “professional house buying service”. These companies may engage in unethical practices such as adding unexpected fees after an agreement is signed, reducing the offer price last minute and taking far longer to complete a sale than promised. Selling your home is a major life decision, and you should research a company thoroughly before signing anything.

At House Buyer Bureau, we pride ourselves on offering an honest and transparent service. We are one of just a handful of house buying companies to be recommended by TheAdvisory — an independent source of advice and support for house sellers. Our team of experts will work at your pace, without any pushy sales tactics. We follow best practices and do not engage in any of the methods highlighted as areas of concern by the Competition and Markets Authority (formerly the Office of Fair Trading) in its study of the quick house sale market. Find out what our customers say about us here.

Why not download our e-guide, 5 Reasons to Sell Off-Market, to help you decide if this is the right choice for you? If you need a quick house sale from a company you can trust, contact us for a free cash offer on your property today. 

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