Does an In-House or Pocket Listing Line Your Pocket?

I frequently receive inquiries from potential buyers, both working with agents and without, who inquire about upcoming listings or off-market properties in our specialized communities such as Idylwood Towers, Gates of McLean, Pimmit Hills, and Fountains at McLean. My response remains consistent: ‘We regularly have properties becoming available in these communities. I encourage you to have your agent monitor these neighborhoods in the MLS/MRIS so you can be promptly notified when they are listed. If you don’t have an agent, I’m more than happy to set up an automatic email notification for you. And if you’re seeking assistance in finding a home, let’s discuss buyer representation.’

Pocket listings, or in-house listings, refer to properties listed with a real estate brokerage but not publicly listed on platforms like the MRIS. These listings can be syndicated to various online sites upon the broker’s discretion. However, they may be marketed exclusively within the brokerage, sometimes during an ‘exclusive marketing period’ or ‘preview period’ to select clients. While legal, this approach may not always serve the seller’s best interests and could favor the brokerage or agent by potentially securing both sides of the transaction.

In Virginia, pocket listings and dual agency are permitted. While they may suit individuals seeking privacy or with unique properties, they could put the average seller at a monetary disadvantage by limiting exposure to potential buyers. A general pocket listing policy by a brokerage, such as exclusively allowing in-brokerage sales for a certain period, may raise ethical concerns, particularly if motivated by the agent’s personal gain.

While there are instances where I facilitate sales of unlisted properties, it’s typically when representing a buyer and identifying a property not yet on the market. In such cases, my priority is securing the best property at the best price for my client while maintaining transparency in my dealings. However, it’s important to note that sellers generally benefit from exposing their property to as many potential buyers as possible, which is my approach when representing a seller.

If you’re considering buying or selling and aim for the best possible outcome, I encourage you to reach out to us for assistance!

Share This
About The Author
Are Andresen

Are Andresen is the principal broker owner of Soldsense Realty LLC. He is also an experienced property investor and help clients find and manage properties in Northern Virginia.