CNN ran a story today about the return of the pocket listings in hot housing markets. With the market being as hot as it is in Northern Virginia buyer agents use all the tricks they know to find properties not listed in the MRIS.
I wrote a story about pocket listings last year ( Does A Pocket Listing Line Your Pocket ) and why they are almost always a bad idea for sellers:
A typical seller will be put at a monetary disadvantage by not exposing the home to as many purchasers as possible from the start. By the law of supply and a demand, a pocket listing would on average sell for less than one that was available for all to see and make an offer on. In my view a general pocket listing policy by a real estate brokerage a-la “we only allow in-brokerage sales of our listings the first 7 days” is unethical. The problem is when it is the listing brokerage that pushes for the pocket listing for their own gain – a pocket listing initiated by a client (for whatever reason) I don’t really see any issue with.
Are there times when I sell unlisted properties myself? Sure. Typically I will be representing a purchaser and I find a property not listed for sale yet and make an offer on behalf of the purchaser I represent. When I represent a purchaser my goal is to find them the best property at the best price – as long as I am honest in my dealings I have no problem with a seller getting less than they would on the open market.
Pocket listings in the “normal” price ranges in our area are not that common. There are other avenues to find unlisted homes for sale though.
If you are looking to buy or sell and want the best possible price, please contact us!