Understanding off market and pocket listings
With the extremely tight inventory of homes for sale in the South Bay, many buyers approach me looking for off market, or pocket listings. Pocket listings and exclusive listings are the hot trend at the moment as eager buyers clamor for a chance to purchase a home without all of the competition. In this market knowing about it first may not ultimately make a difference, but it certainly helps. Many agents seem to be trying to keep listings private as well in the hopes that perhaps they can represent both buyer and seller, which is much easier if fewer agents know that the home is for sale. So what do the terms actually mean? A pocket listing can be anything from a realtor simply knowing about a home that a seller might consider selling and not having a listing agreement, to something coming to the market but not yet on the MLS, to the intentional withholding of the listing from the MLS.
But is it beneficial to the seller?
In terms of price, exposure, etc. the answer is generally no. The more exposure the home gets, the more potential buyers see it, and the likelihood that it will sell for a better price and with more favorable terms for the seller. Eliminate that competition and generally speaking the chances of such favorable terms decrease.
There are very legitimate reasons for exclusive or “pocket” listings and for keeping the property off the market…..work being completed, tenant issues, or simply a seller who doesn’t want the world touring their home. Seller’s just need to be sure that the reasons for keeping a home off of the South Bay MLS are beneficial to them….and not just to the listing agents.
Whether keeping a listing from the MLS is good or bad for the seller ultimately depends on the situation and whose best interest is the primary reason, but working with a top local realtor who has the network and knowledge to seek out these possible opportunities is certainly key for the buyer.