What are Off-Market Properties? - Are these good bargains, or really bargain properties?

Poste date: Tuesday, January 4, 2022

When searching for properties for rent or sale, you may often see the messages such as "There are off-market properties!", "How to find off-market properties", etc.  However, many people may have questions such as “Is there really a real estate that is not on the market in these days when we can easily find a property on the Internet?” and “How do you look for the properties that you can’t find on the Internet?” 

Here is our explanation of “Off-Market Properties” in question and the details of it by dividing into the following 4 points.

1. What are Off-Market Properties (Unreleased Properties)?
2. How to find Off-Market Properties
3. Advantages and disadvantages of Off-Market Properties
4. Summary

1. What are Off-Market Properties (Unreleased Properties)? 

Off-Market properties are real estate properties that are not on the market, and the reasons why they are not open to the public are mainly as follows:

1) Properties that the sellers or lessors do not want to open to the public

The main reasons are:

The owners don’t want to be known to (for such reasons that the owners don’t want anyone to pry into their personal financial subjects).
The owners don’t want to disclose their real estate values (assets) to many and unspecified people.
The properties are “Jiko Bukken” properties (in which a death or calamity has occurred).
The owners want to recruit new tenants with better conditions for some reason than the conditions of other tenants in the units that are currently leased in the same apartment.

2) Properties that cannot be advertised

Properties whose advertisements are prohibited by law because they are in the state before receiving the building certification.

3) Properties which real estate agents want to prioritize their own customers for buying or leasing

Properties in the case when the real estate companies requested by the sellers or lessors to mediate, have determined that their properties come with excellent or favorable conditions, so can be easily sold or leased to their own customers or the customers who contacted the real estate companies, without advertising to other real estate companies. 

* Some real estate companies handling "Off-Market Properties" define them as the properties that are not listed on the internet search websites that anyone can visit to see, such as At Home and SUUMO, but that are listed on REINS, which is the search website that only real estate companies can see.

2. How to find Off-Market Properties

The best way to find real estate information that is not posted on the search websites is "to contact the real estate company directly". As explained in the point No.1 above, real estate companies may have property information that can be introduced only to their own customers. Then, how do you decide the real estate company to inquire about it, among many real estate companies? Real estate companies usually have their own areas and price ranges that they are good at. So, we recommend that you contact a real estate company that posts many properties in the desired areas and price ranges that you are looking for on the website, or a real estate company located in the area where you want to purchase or rent a property. Sellers and lessors often ask a real estate company which handles many properties similar to their own properties or a real estate company located close to their properties, because sellers and lessors think that such a real estate company can easily find the applicants who have an interest in their properties.

The way of inquiry varies depending on the real estate company such as by phone, email, membership registration, etc. Because your seriousness may increase the probability of your having information of "Off-Market Properties" from a real estate company, we recommend that you tell the real estate company as specifically as possible about you desired conditions, such as your desired area, price, time of your purchase or lease, etc.

3. Advantages and disadvantages of Off-Market Properties


Off-Market Properties may include "properties in popular areas" and "properties with low prices" that real estate companies expect immediate conclusion of contract and may include "hard-to-find properties with high rarity value" that are not on the market.


They may include “Jiko Bukken” properties (in which a death or calamity has occurred) or may include excellent properties but those which are different from your preferences because they are selected by the real estate company’s own judging criteria.

4. Summary

In conclusion, there are many “Off-Market Properties”, but you have to be careful that “Off-Market Properties” are not equal to “Bargain Properties” nor “Excellent Properties”. However, it is true that having information of “Off-Market Properties” definitely increases the possibility that you come across your desired property.  So, we recommend that you first ask a real estate company to introduce “Off-Market Properties”, compare them with other properties on the market and check if the properties are really valuable for you, and then decide your purchase or lease after careful consideration. Please never be so hasty in your decision without thoroughly thinking, that they may be taken by other people!

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