What exactly is an Off Market Sale? Selling your home “Off Market” means your house is sold without listing it on the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) website, therefore it never gets published on the online/internet market for exposure where 90+% of buyers are looking to find a home.

Does an Off Market Sale make sense? Is it doing what is best for the Seller? As Realtor’s, we are bound by a code of ethics. Our fiduciary responsibility is to bring you the highest amount of money with the best possible terms.  As with any commodity, the law of supply and demand apply. Therefore, advertising a home for sale on MLS ensures the seller gets the most exposure for their home, yielding the largest buyer pool (demand), and ultimately driving up the sale price of the home. This is particularly true in the current North Fork real estate market where over 50% of homes on MLS are closing at, or over, the asking price. Without exposure to the open market, a bidding war is not possible, therefore the excess yield is also not possible.

At North Fork Real Estate, Inc we believe that our fiduciary responsibility is to educate our clients to terms and situations such as this. Of course, it would be more beneficial for our agents to keep a listing ‘off market,’ and sell it “in-house” where the firm would get both sides (buyer & seller) of the transaction, however in the end this is not what is best for most sellers. The lack of exposure limits the marketing and ultimately, dramatically decreases the chances of obtaining a bidding war/higher sale price. Furthermore, limiting the buyer pool to a select group of buyers also places everyone at risk of violating the Fair Housing laws.

In rare cases, an off-market sale may make sense, ie. the seller has a strong desire for privacy and/or they do not want people to know they are selling the property. Or the seller is selling to a friend or family member and is just looking for the realtor to broker the exchange. However, rarely after fully understanding the effect of doing an off-market sale, does a seller chose to go this route because they realize just how much money they are leaving on the table. In the event they still want to do an off-market sale, it is extremely important your agent walks you through the do’s and do nots of this process to avoid any Fair Housing violations.

At North Fork Real Estate, Inc. we take our fiduciary responsibility very seriously, well above and beyond our personal net gain, and we would always encourage you to put the house on the open market. We will guide you through the showing process to limit disruption to your day-to-day routines and we will navigate the offers to choose the one that is best for you.