Why selling your home off-market could cost you

Deciding to sell off-market may come at a significant cost to sellers.


As a homeowner looking to sell your property, it’s only fair to expect that you get the best price for it. However, if you are looking to sell without listing it on the market, you might be in for a loss.

A new report that analysed sale prices for houses sold off-market in Adelaide, compared to those listed on realestate.com.au, found that on average they sold for 3.8 per cent less.

According to the PropTrack Off-Market Sales Performance Report, which released today, homeowners in Adelaide risk missing out $26,000 (for a median house price) if they opt for an off-market sale.

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The report defined “off-market” as all sales not matched to listings on realestate.com.au and took into account properties sold between July 2021 and March 2022.

It also identified off-market transactions by matching the census of sales from State and Territory Valuer General offices to those listed on realestate.com.au using the address of each sold property.

Senior economist and report author Paul Ryan said the potential earnings lost in the final sale price far outweighed the initial cost of advertising.


PropTrack senior economist and report author, Paul Ryan said there were a number of reasons why people sometimes choose to sell off-market.

“One of the reasons can be that they are testing waters without a huge amount of commitment, to get an idea if there’s an interest in their property,” Mr Ryan said.

“Some homeowners do it for privacy reasons or life disruption reasons where they prefer private viewings or don’t want to worry about the home looking pristine. The classic reason is that people think they don’t have to pay for an online listing to get a good price for their home.

“That’s where this report helps. It quantifies to people that while there is a cost on average, online listings get better prices. While some sellers might try to save money by not advertising online, this analysis shows the potential earnings lost in the final sale price far outweighs the initial cost of advertising, particularly in a market where prices are falling.”

The report also stated that nationally off-market performance was the worst for median priced houses.

“Over the period of slowing property price growth in late 2021 and early 2022, off-market sales in locations with median prices between $500,000 and $750,000 performed the worst. In these areas, the prices of off-market sales were 4.2 per cent lower than those listed on realestate.com.au,” Mr Ryan said.

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