Pocket Listings

A pocket listing is where a seller signs a listing agreement with a broker but they don’t want the house marketed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Due to the current housing market, this practice is becoming less common.

What’s the benefits and drawbacks of pocket listings?

The main benefit is convenience. Many property owners want to sell their house but do not want the aggravation associated with showing the property.

However, if you aren’t marketing your home on the MLS, you’re not exposing the house in the entire market so it’s harder to determine market value.

For example, if I’m going to sell candy and I’m going to sell it to one person, it’s worth $1. However, if 30 buyers want the same candy, it increases the value of the candy to perhaps $15.

What’s your experience with pocket listings?

As a general rule, we don’t encourage our sellers to keep their property as a pocket listing because it doesn’t fully represent the seller. We’ve had occasions where sellers signs the listing agreement but they aren’t ready to have the house exposed to the market. In the meanwhile, if someone wants to buy the house, they want to sell.

Recently, one of our buyers heard about a house for sale directly through the seller and we submitted what we felt was a fair market value offer based upon the comps. The seller decided at the last moment to expose the property to the entire market and they ended up getting $15,000 or $20,000 more than what we had offered.

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