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General Blog | 19 December 2013
Pocket Listings: What Do You and Your Agent Know?
By Mike Paris, Luxury Mortgage Corp. The term “pocket listings” has been cropping up here and there in real estate publications and conversations. If you are buying or selling in today’s market, you need to know what a pocket listing is—and your agent needs to know too. Most of the time when a property comes on the market, the listing agent registers it with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is the primary marketing tool for properties, where online sites such as Trulia and Zillow get their information and where agents get property information as well. Occasionally, however, a property will not be posted on the MLS. These properties are known as pocket listings. These are not to be confused with properties that have not yet come on the market that agents may be aware of. The general consensus among agents is that pocket listings aren’t a great idea. Sellers could miss out on getting their property bid up, while buyers who are well qualified and ready to purchase may not be made aware of a home that fits all their requirements. However, according to industry experts, pocket listings are on the rise. So how do you ensure you approach them the right way? If you’re a seller, you’re more likely to get a competitive price for your home if it’s listed on the local MLS. Every real estate agent who subscribes to the MLS will be able to access it and show it to every buyer they have. But some sellers don’t want dozens of people traipsing through their homes, or have special attachments to their property and are looking for a certain type of buyer. They may want their trusted agent to handpick a few potential homebuyers for whom the property is ideally matched and simply show it to them. Buyers will need to express to their agents that they know pocket listings exist. If you and your agent go over the specifics and parameters of the home you’re looking to buy, from size to price to location to amenities, and you are certain your agent is very clear about what you want and where you’re willing to compromise, you should feel confident asking them to keep you apprised of any pocket listings they have that match your needs. Ultimately, it’s up to their discretion—and possibly the seller’s—whether you are shown a home that is a pocket listing. Pocket listings are generally not an ideal way to market a home and may mean that buyers miss out on potential gems. Sellers are strongly urged to list their homes on the MLS and to use all marketing channels possible to properly showcase their homes and ensure they get fair market value for the property. That said, buyers should be aware that these pocket inventories exist and should have a conversation with their agents as they enter the homeshopping process. By doing so, each side has a better chance of getting what they want. Michael Paris Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator Luxury Mortgage Corp 399 Knollwood Rd, Suite 304 White Plains, NY 10603 Office: 914.298.3203 Cell: 917.582.0766 NMLS: 156582; Licensed in NY