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Why a home might be sold off the market

ask phyllis a real estate question

Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.

Why a home might be sold off the market.

Dear Phyllis,

I enjoy your real estate advice and want to share my parents’ experience with your readers. They live in a two-story home and have dreamed about relocating to a single-story home for years. Their home is a tract home, and over the years, they have learned that the quality of the construction was inferior. My parents are the second owners, and they find something wrong each time a wall is opened. Typically, it’s mold or defective electrical or plumbing. When they remodeled their bathroom, they discovered the floor was uneven, with portions raised and others sunken. They needed to strengthen the joists underneath. My parents felt it would take $150,000 to make the home “right.”

Their neighbor’s single-story home went on the market. My parents went to the open house and thought it could be a great move for them. They contacted the Realtor who sold them their home, and she brought an investor who made a cash offer with a quick close. It seemed the perfect solution for them. I wanted to share this with your readers to explain why a home might be sold off the market.


Dear Susan,

Thank you for sharing.

Homeowners may sell a home off-market for various reasons, meaning they don’t publicly list it on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Some of these reasons include:

1. Privacy: Some homeowners don’t want to have neighbors and the community to view their home.

2. Avoiding Disruption: Selling a home can be a disruptive process, especially if it involves open houses and numerous showings, Off-market sales can be less disruptive to the homeowner’s daily life.

3. Speed: Off-market sales can often be quicker than traditional listings.

4. Exclusive Marketing: In some cases, a select group of potential buyers who are part of a specific network may receive exclusive marketing for the property. This exclusivity can create a sense of rarity and exclusiveness. Often the buyer feels the need to act quickly and aggressively.

5. Special Circumstances: Personal or financial reasons for a discreet sale could exist. For example, a homeowner might be going through a divorce, facing financial challenges, or dealing with other issues, such as your parents.

Although off-market sales offer advantages, they also entail potential downsides, such as potentially missing out on competitive offers and market exposure. The homeowner’s decision to sell off-market depends on specific circumstances and preferences.

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