One of the newer real estate terms becoming popular as the market rebounds is “pocket listing.” Should a listing agent suggest this feature to you, understanding the meaning of this phrase and its equivalent, “off-MLS listing,” is important. A pocket listing may or may not be attractive to you when you want to sell San Ramon homes.
A pocket listing denotes a home being marketed without being included in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The evidence of your San Ramon real estate for sale remains in your agent’s “pocket,” instead of being advertised to the buying world on MLS. You may view this feature as a wonderful option or a disaster waiting to happen for you as an active home seller.
Some question the legality of pocket listings. However, keeping your home off-MLS is perfectly legal IF your listing agent fully explains the good, the bad and the ugly of this feature. Sellers must be aware of the benefits and downsides of pocket listings. Your agent must still follow all regulations, federal and local, that provide consumer protection for real estate purchases.
The most important disclosure that sellers deserve concerns potential selling price shortfalls. Pocket listing detractors, of which there are many, cite the statistics that suggest sellers often receive lower offers than they enjoy with MLS listed homes. Even those who favor pocket listings emphasize the importance of disclosing that the potential of a lower selling price, while not guaranteed, is a possibility.
Sellers of San Ramon real estate sometimes prefer pocket listings for the following reasons.
They believe their listing agent has access to one or more potential qualified buyers who may love their home. Most sellers have only one home to sell. Therefore, multiple buyers may become immaterial. It only takes one.
Some sellers prefer the privacy of not widely publicizing their home for sale.At times, celebrities, professional athletes and members of the legal profession, including judges, prefer to maintain their privacy by selling their homes using off-MLS approaches.
Sellers who object to having a myriad of strangers walk through their homes for open houses, agent appointments and drop-by ‘tire kickers’ sometimes prefer pocket listings. These sellers are often more concerned about their safety or inconvenience than just selling price.
Those who want to sell San Ramon homes should be aware of the potential downsides of pocket listings. The most serious downside is often the only one that matters–price.
Since most of the ‘bargain basement’ inventory (foreclosures, short sales, distressed properties) has been sold, the housing market is heating up, with many potential buyers. Pocket listings reduce the number of available San Ramon real estate listings on MLS, eliminating numerous potential buyers from viewing your property.
Agents overstate the number or quality of their ready and willing buyers. While it makes little sense for experienced agents to intentionally overestimate their buyer list, if their preferred buyers do not make reasonable offers or are not as qualified as assumed, a seller’s home could stagnate from lack of exposure.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the popularity of pocket listings is strong and increasing. For a dissenting view, read a recent article in RealtyTimes, noting that pocket listings might sell for less than market.
To sell your home for the highest price in the least amount of time, contact your local real estate agent MONA KOUSSA