Australian home buyers will get a sneak peek of properties before they're listed, as Domain wades into off-market alerts

Domain will give buyers a peek into properties off-market. (Bernard Weil, Toronto Star via Getty Images)
  • From Thursday, Domain will begin issuing alerts for off-market properties.
  • The property group says the feature will give buyers a “competitive edge” in finding their next home, and removes the time it takes for sellers to gauge interest.
  • It comes as prices continue to fall in major capital cities despite a low volume of sales over the last six months.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Somewhere along the way, the humble property auction became an Australia past time, a blood sport and a spectacle, but now it might be possible to circumvent it altogether.

On Thursday, Domain introduced new alerts for users in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to get a sneak peek of homes not yet on the market.

“Too often, buyers miss out on properties they love. Off-market properties give buyers a competitive edge by helping them get in early. Buyers can preview, inspect and make an offer before other buyers,” Domain consumer group director Jason Chuck said.

Prospective buyers can set up notifications online based on their preferences to get an inside lane. Interested sellers meanwhile can request Domain include their property in such alerts.

“For sellers, it removes the downtime between when your property is signed with an agent, and the weeks before it is officially listed,” Chuck said.

“Instead of waiting weeks until the paperwork, marketing and photography is ready to officially list, you can start reaching high-intent buyers within days and often hours from signing with an agent.”

While the number of listings this year have fallen during the pandemic, the property group says interest is up in cities like Sydney by 27.5% compared to last spring.

Record low-interest rates and dampened international demand coupled with falling prices across most capital cities might have something to do with it.

“The last six months have brought with it unfamiliar territory and while COVID sent buyer demand into hiatus, activity from people likely to buy has rebounded in all capital cities apart from Melbourne,” Chuck said.

“In fact, it’s significantly higher compared to last year in these cities, with many looking to the outer suburban areas.”

It’s during such an uncertain time for the market that Chuck believes going off-market may prove more fruitful.

For buyers eager to get onto the property ladder, it might help them avoid the hustle and bustle of the public sale. On the other hand, sellers who have been reluctant to list can scope out interest.

For everyone else, there are always auctions.

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