Pocket Listing

Pocket Listing: (n) real estate industry term used for a property listing for sale or for rent that is not advertised on the open market but sold/rented through a real estate agency.

Pocket listing uses vary by area, price and necessity.
What are the advantages?

Sellers or landlords may wish to sell or rent their home using the services of a Realtor®, but without marketing it through the public domain. Concerns for security, too many people coming in and out of the home for showings, anonymity for the seller/landlord etc could play a key role in determining how an agent will market the property.

Pocket listings are a way to keep the greatest amount of control over public knowledge, showings and security. There are many personal reasons why a seller or landlord will want to use the pocket listing approach instead of listing the property on the MLS and all over the internet, privacy and security being the top two most common reasons.

Are pocket listings common?

Yes. Most experienced real estate agents who have been working in the real estate industry for a while will have pocket listings. They will have the clientele and knowledge to be able to sell or rent these listings off the market.

What are some common reasons for Pocket Listings?

  • Sellers/landlords want to remain anonymous and have the property unadvertised on the internet
  • High demand properties (especially rentals) will often be pocket listings with a wait list, no need to advertise
  • Security is highest concern of property owner, so limited property access and public knowledge are essential
  • Seller isn't in a hurry to sell, wants to gauge market first through this method before offering it on public domain
  • Agent knows a property will be available for sale or for rent at a future date, but hasn't listed it on MLS yet
  • Commercial properties are often pocket listings and only advertised to industry specific groups of buyers

Where would a buyer (or renter) find a Pocket Listing?

While pocket listings won't be advertised through the MLS or associated real estate websites on the internet, they will most likely be on individual agent websites. Look at the personal websites of real estate agents in the area you want to buy or rent, join their newsletters to get on their private lists. Looking for a particular commercial or multi-family building? Reach out to agents in specific areas geographically or expertise related, ask them to let you know what listings they have, or anticipate having in the future. Most experienced agents work with client lists broken down into areas of interest: investors, renters, buyers, commercial property, etc. By joining these lists, an interested buyer or renter will see these properties first and be able to act quicker in order to win the right property or negotiate the best deal possible.

Example: a renter is looking to rent in a very particular area due to proximity to a school. They know they need a two bedroom unit in a specific price range. This renter has a friend that is renting a unit that's perfect but she can't ever find any like this online. What does she do? --> she should reach out to the agent that does rentals in this area and/or manages properties in the area. Sign up for that agent's email list so for first notification of upcoming vacancies, be the first to get on a wait list. POPULAR RENTALS WILL MOST OFTEN HAVE WAITING LISTS before they ever hit the internet!

More on Pocket Listings.

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