Sometimes I read articles that make me a little bit upset. I read one of those last week and I spent a couple of days thinking about this
Do you know what pocket listings are?
post before publishing it. Maybe your saw the article, “Secret Pocket Listings in Hot Markets are Back” on cnnmoney.com. Sotheby’s International Corporate also saw it and they posted a link to it on their weekly wrap-up. I was contemplating writing about it when I saw they had linked to it.
The housing rebound has given new life to an old, but little-known sales practice called “pocket listings,” where agents reserve homes for serious buyers only.
Most homes that are put up for sale are posted on databases called multiple listing services (MLS), on which agents share information with one another in order to find buyers. There are open houses on Sunday afternoons and listings posted on real estate websites.
But with pocket listings, properties are kept under wraps and brokers only show them to people they expect will put money down if the property and the price are right, said Richard Smith, CEO of Realogy, the parent company of Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Better Homes & Gardens and other real estate brokerages. Ideally, the buyer has deep pockets and is willing to pay in cash, fast.
“High-end sellers often don’t want to have the world coming to their property,” said Michael Izquierdo, a Los Angeles-based real estate agent and acquisitions manager for LAPocketListings.com. “When it’s put on the MLS, sometimes the next morning you see people standing outside the property, hoping to talk to the sellers.”
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Did you read all of that? Sometimes things come across pretty poorly in a news article. The reality is that through our agent relationships and contacts and our database (friends, family, network) often successful agents and established brands such as Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International are promoting a property prior to putting in the FMLS service. There is something intriguing to all buyers about seeing a property “before it is listed”…just like in the height of the market everyone loved to see a “Just Listed” property…
I don’t think it means you necessarily get a higher price or that you will only get a serious buyer, but that you have a unique opportunity if it makes sense and you and your agent are in agreement.
It means to a seller that they will have the opportunity to promote their house to a more exclusive audience of agents, build a little bit of a marketing buzz, and hopefully get a solid and strong offer they can agree on with a buyer. If you don’t sell as a quiet listing, you and your agent can together do some revision on condition of the property, marketing, and price and list officially after gaining some market insight.
That said, the old saying of you “can’t sell a secret” still applies and often the best way to sell and deliver the highest possible price is to list with an agent that incorporates FMLS so that you gain the exposure of a large buying audience.
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