You may have heard the term "pocket listing" amongst real estate agents and professionals. A pocket listing is an industry term which describes a broker holding a listing agreement with the seller that can either be an exclusive right to sell or an exclusive agency. However, the term pocket listing can be used in several different manners. It simply can be the short time between when a seller's agent agrees to list the property and the time it appears on the MLS because they already have a buyer. Sometimes, homeowners may want to sell their homes privately so they asked the agent to refrain from listing their home on the multiple listing service. This means that the listings technically "in the agent's pocket" for the agent to be discerning on who sees the property. There are some objections to these pocket listings and some agents feel that it may violate the rules however, a seller should be able to list their property however they choose.
A pocket listing can also be referred to as a "coming soon" type of listing. If an agent gets wind that a homeowners considering selling their property and may already have a buyer for it, the whole niceties of listing the property and then taking it off the MLS may not be necessary at all. Many homeowners may also attempt real estate agents and potential buyers by putting an urgency on a listing classifying it as "pocket listing". This may bring a sense of urgency to home buyers wanting to know more about it before it actually hits the market. While this is a sales tactic, it has worked in the past and again, sellers are able to sell their property by any legal means possible.
Pocket listings have a controversial vibe to them and some agents don't feel that they are ethical however they are legal. Some buyers in hot markets that are unable to find home actually listed on the MLS search out an agent with knowledge of pocket listings.
So who really benefits from these types of listings?
The benefit to the buyer is that there simply less competition. The property will not hit the MLS and if it does, it's a very short window in that the buyer has already agreed to purchase the property. The benefit to seller is that they can avoid the hassle of selling their home with looky loos traipsing through their house with no intention of actually buying. Many of these pocket listing homes will be higher end, luxury properties were homeowners simply can take advantage of leaving their home on the market for some time for the right buyer, typically found by their own listing agent.
Is it a benefit for the real estate agent? This can be a tricky one; real estate agents may already have a buyer but if they don't have a buyer and are forced to find a buyer solely on their own fruition, it can really limit the broad scope of potential candidates out there.
Choosing to sell your home is a pocket listing might be the right option but it's best to speak with your Portland real estate agent before deciding on what type of listing to undertake. We want the highest and best price for your home and a pocket listing may be the way to do that and it may not. Give me a call today if you are on the fence or would like answers to your questions about selling your home.