Buying an ‘off-market’ property

Garrington were instructed to find and secure a substantial, family home in Edinburgh for a busy professional couple and their young children.

The Search

Whilst they had been looking for some time, allowing 6 months before the end of their rental contract, a few months into the search they had missed several opportunities due to their busy lifestyles and realised they simply didn’t have the time to find their forever home themselves.

The requirement was for a property which would work well for the family now but also allow room to grow with a good size garden, open to property style and age but the client did not want to undertake any work; the property should be ready to move in.

Whilst the client currently lived in Murrayfield and liked the area they were also open to looking at property in other parts of the city so long as they could reach work and good schools.

Garrington reached out to their contacts across Edinburgh and previewed several properties but there was nothing immediately available that would work for the young family. Maintaining regular communication with their long established network of contacts across the city, Garrington ensured no opportunity was missed.

A few weeks into the search, following an accompanied viewing tour of two properties Garrington had shortlisted, Garrington proposed a review meeting to consider what they’d seen so far and refine the search brief if necessary. There was a property that the client had missed out on right at the very beginning of the search, they felt perhaps only a similar property would work. The home they’d lost out on was in the New Town area of Edinburgh, a period home with an abundance of character which had been tastefully renovated.

A direct approach

Garrington knew the style of property and which roads within the New Town area would have properties that would potentially work for the family. Constructing a carefully worded letter, Garrington hand delivered letters to the properties that seemed to be a good fit. One of the properties which Garrington dropped a letter through was having extensive works carried out. Upon talking to the site foreman it transpired that they were not renovating the property for an end user but for a small scale developer, the search consultant passed their business card over to be given to the developer.

The developer called Garrington the next day, talking over the property it transpired that not only was it unlikely to be large enough for the client but it was also very early in the development and the property was not expected to be ready for almost a year. The developer did have another site that was a month or so from completion which might be suitable; Garrington arranged to view it the very next day.

The ‘off market’ property

A Georgian town house arranged over 3 floors with a generous garden, the property was a suitable size, not yet the finished article the property required some imagination to visualise how it might look. Thankfully the developer had had some computer generated images to provide a better idea which proved very useful for the client when they came to view the property in person a few days later. Whilst the developer did have a finish in mind he was open to a buyer potentially choosing the flooring and wall colours, and having input into the kitchen and bathrooms.

The clients were immediately taken with the property, pending a little more information regarding the options available for the kitchen they decided they wanted to proceed to purchase.


The developer had indicated the price they would be advertising the property at based on a local estate agent’s valuation. Garrington relayed this information to the buyers and their solicitor and together agreed that it was a fair price. Garrington worked closely with the solicitor to ensure all details regarding the finishing of the property be correctly included in the formal written offer.

Value Delivered

This was an ‘off-market’ purchase which meant our client was not in competition with other prospective buyers. There was also no selling agent representing the developer making Garrington’s involvement all the more important for communication throughout the process, accompanying on all client site visits through to completion of the purchase. Whilst this type of opportunity is not always readily available, without taking an on the ground and proactive approach a suitable home may not have been found for some time.