Off-Market (Planning)

Offmarket is the term used to describe selling a property without advertising it on the open market. This method is commonly used for high profile, high-value sales – where the seller does not want to publicly advertise the property – but is also a way for landlords to sell their property on to another investor.

What are the details surrounding the planning permission?

To make sure that the vision you have in your mind is conceivable, you need to ensure it matches up to what planning permission has already been granted.

“The planning permission given may be specific to an architect’s drawing that only enables an extension or conversion in a certain way. Making minor amendments to the building plan is allowed, but for anything drastic you’ll have to reapply, so it’s wise to find out first what the specifics of the planning permission are,” advises Adam.

Planning permission comes in a wide array of different types, so make sure you do your research and take a look at the Planning Portal website or the Government page on planning permission.

How long does the planning permission last for?

If there is planning permission already in place for a property, then it’s also important to know when it was secured.

“Planning permission typically lasts for three years,” explains Adam. “It’s essential to check when the planning permission was given, to avoid the situation of only having six months left to complete necessary works on the property by the time you’ve moved in – which might be quite stressful.”

Don’t worry about completing all the works by then though.

“Usually only the foundations need to already be in place in the given time frame for you to be able to continue working on the building.”

How much can you save?

One of the most obvious advantages of purchasing a property that already has planning permission is the amount of money you can save rather than buying a larger home outright.


“The benefit of getting a property with planning permission already in place is that you aren’t taking as much of a risk as you would be in having to apply for it yourself. You won’t have to go through the cost of securing the permission, which can prove to be particularly pricey if your application gets declined and you have to keep making adjustments – costing you more and more each time.”

It’s advisable to look into how much it would cost you to apply first. You can calculate the approximate fee for applying for different types of planning permission on the Planning Portal website.

However, the cost of works required on the property might add up to more than you think, so it’s best to have a firm figure in mind of how much you’ll be spending beforehand.

“Sellers will put a premium on their property as they are now selling the potential of a larger property – the three bedroom house is now a potential four bed home, which is more expensive.

I would recommend having builders come to view the property so that they can give you a quote on how much the actual work will come to, giving you an estimate of how much your finished dream home will cost you.”

What are the risks?

The terms surrounding each property are different, so it’s a good idea to do as much research as possible before purchasing a property with planning permission to make sure you have all the facts.

“One issue that could arise if you are buying a flat, is an issue of getting additional permission. If you bought a top floor flat as a leaseholder and the loft was demised to you, with full planning permission for it you would still need permission from the freeholder.

If you have share of freehold in the same situation, you will need to get signatures from the other owners of the building to convert the loft, despite it being yours – which can prove to be pricey.”

Buying a property with planning permission can be a fantastic investment, but it’s not as clear cut as you might initially think. It’s all about remembering to ask the right questions so you know where you stand before you begin making your dream home a reality!

If you’re keen to buy somewhere you can mould into your perfect property, then take a look at our slideshow below of homes with planning permission that we currently have on our books.


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