‘Pocket listings’ are a hot new trend in real estate

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Nowadays when you look for home, what do you do? You look on the computer, or more likely you look on your phone via an app like Zillow or so many others. When you’re driving around and see a home for sale, theses app will geo-locate you and then pull the MLS listing while you sit on the curb and look at the house!

But for sellers, a hot trend around the country is people *not* listing their homes, what historically has been known as a ‘pocket listing.’ This used to be very common in areas where real estate was priced sky high or in a celebrity neighborhood where sellers wanted privacy. Now it’s gone mainstream, according to CNN Money.

As many as 1 in 7 houses that are sold in some cities were never listed for sale when they were sold!

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How do pocket listings work exactly?

The idea is in most neighborhoods around the country, there are 3 to 5 agents that sell the bulk of homes in that area. So with a pocket listing you use a traditional real estate agent, usually one of those 3 to 5 big agents in an area, and they just chat up the other agents that also farm the area. That’s how they find out about unlisted homes among each other. And then the only people who get tot see the home are people brought there by that small number of agents.

The benefit to you as a seller is that your life is not nearly as disrupted, there are far fewer showings and there are fewer strangers waltzing through your home. The  disadvantage is you’re not reaching nearly as wide a market and you may miss a qualified buyer who might really help you get a good price for the home you’re selling.

For you as a buyer, if there’s a particular neighborhood you want to buy in, you’re going to need an agent who is a big seller in that neighborhood who will know about these unlisted homes for sale. Otherwise you’ll never know about them from the web or from an app on your phone!

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