London’s luxury home sellers are using WhatsApp to buy and sell properties. Could this trend make its way to America?

Everything changing. We’re living fast forward, and the advent of mobile phones and computers has changed the trajectory of everything around us – including how we conduct business.

Now, a growing number of Londoners they’re using the same technology to expand the way they sell homes, and the messaging app WhatsApp is emerging as a new home for luxury listings. Off-market home sales surged in the British capital in the final three months of 2022, according to U.K. estate agents Hamptons International, accounting for more than one-in-five (22.3%) transactions — its highest percentage on record.

Hamptons senior analyst, David Fell, said that WhatsApp allows some vendors to “test the water” discretely without leaving a “digital footprint” and potentially hurting future sales prospects. “Sellers have been increasingly looking to test pricing quietly without leaving a digital footprint, particularly if they chose to take their home off the market to try again in 6 or 12 months,” he said. London’s luxury real estate market, in particular, has led the off-market trend, and estate agents noted that the “anonymity” of such transactions is especially valued by buyers and sellers of properties in the £20 million-plus range — both in London and the surrounding counties.

James Myers, director of London-based prime real estate agency Oliver James, told CNBC an increasing number of high-end private transactions are also being conducted via messaging tools like WhatsApp. “With the added benefit of the new tools … it [has] allowed estate agents to promote their properties via the brochure section, which, as a result, has helped to showcase the property to a wider audience and aid the sale of property,” said Myers. To read the complete article, click here.