Real Estates Hidden Market – The “Pocket Listing”

Pocket listings are becoming more prevalentSome homes are bought and sold without ever being officially listed. This word-of-mouth technique – once used mostly by the rich and famous – is gaining popularity among sellers who want to avoid the perils of a down market. “Pocket listing” means that a home is not listed in the MLS but is instead marketed directly by the property’s real-estate agent or broker — it is in that person’s “pocket. The seller and agent have more control over who knows the home is for sale, who can look at it and, thus, who may eventually buy it.  But many not-so-rich and not-so-famous homeowners also go the pocket-listing route.Some people don’t want their neighbors to know their business, so when it is time to sell their home, they do it under the radar. High end definitely has common pocket listings, but we have pocket listings for $200,000 properties, as well. But many not-so-rich and not-so-famous homeowners also go the pocket-listing route. These off-market listings have always been around. People may want privacy during a divorce or after a death, for instance, or a high-powered executive may not want his company to know he’s thinking of moving. But this type of sale has become more prevalent.

With the upward turn of the market, many sales are seeing multiple offers.  The agents representing the Purchaser often ask the Listing agent if they have other listings in the area coming up.  In some instances, they do and from this “word of mouth” comes the “pocket listing”.  Some sellers prefer this way of sale because they don’t have to open their home up to the public for showings.  Sellers don’t have to keep their home in tip top shape with small children running around and hiding toys everywhere. Sometimes it just is a better fit for them and their family.Sometimes, sellers don’t want to take this route; they want the traditional way of real estate.

For Purchasers, some feel “lucky” when they find a home that isn’t even on the market yet.  In hot neighborhoods, homes sell extremely quickly and with aggressive conditions. Think waiving home inspections, no appraisals and cash buyers. Even with full price offers or elevated sale prices, the buyer has lost properties and feel defeated.

The ‘pocket listing” can be beneficial for all parties, if all parties are aware of it and are comfortable with it.