In most instances when a property is marketed by an estate agent it will be exposed and promoted to the widest possible audience.

A private sale on the other hand, is the exact opposite, which on the face of it seems at odds with the end goal. How can you sell a house without a For Sale board or telling anyone about it?

Long held to be reserved for homes belonging to the rich and famous, according to Rettie, private sales post-recession have become more popular – and not only for highend or celebrity homes. A small percentage of private sales are co-incidental, arranged by mutual agreement between friends or known parties.

 However, the service is effectively a bespoke matchmaking service between the agent and client, where the latter remains at the centre of the process and potential buyers are matched and approached by an agent who is familiar with the needs, requirements and timescales of both parties.

Savills’ director Ben Fox says: “Typically around 10 to 15 per cent of the houses we sell are never publicly marketed and they are often – though not exclusively – at the higher price range. Often private sellers are prepared to wait for the right buyer at the right price to come along, and do not want to be hurried into a closing date.”


 CALA Homes (East) is offering buyers at any of its developments across East Lothian, Midlothian, Edinburgh and surrounds the chance to purchase a new CALA home with a safety proviso – the ability sell their existing property on the open market safe in the knowledge that the housebuilder will act as a back-up buyer in the event that their home fails to sell in time for the move.

Philip Hogg, sales and marketing director of CALA Homes East, comments: “We fully understand why buyers might want to try their homes on the open market – especially in Edinburgh – at a time when homes are still regularly being bought above the valuation. And having CALA acting as a cash buyer waiting in the wings means they can relax and plan ahead in the knowledge their new home is secure.”