A pocket listing refers to a listing in which a real estate agent has a listing agreement and the seller has not authorized the placement of the listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The agent has a fully executed listing agreement. A pocket listing is not when an agent states Charlie Smith in the neighborhood will be selling their house yet has no formal agreement from the seller to discuss whether house is or is not for sale.
How Does An Agent Market A Pocket Listing
In this scenario the agent markets the property through informal networks. Sharing the listing with the agents in their office, sending emails to other agents in the area, and with permission from the seller, using social media to promote the home.
Why A Seller Would Opt for Off Market Listing
Here are some situations when a pocket listing may be appropriate.
- Seller has more control over the showing of the house
- Wants to sell in as condition
- Doesn’t want the hassle of constant showings
- High profile person or celebrity
- Doesn’t want neighbors to know house is on the market
- Financial reasons
Downside of a Pocket Listing
- The biggest downside of a pocket listing, by keeping the home off the MLS this limits exposure to the entire buyer pool. While we would send emails to agents in our local market area, agents outside of the area are in the dark about the home being for sale.
- Financial – depending on the market (buyer or seller) may not get as much money. Of course, in a hot seller's market selling off market listings is somewhat easier. Most agents have buyers who would be delighted to get an off-market home to avoid the competition.
As long as the Seller is completely informed of both the pros and cons of a pocket listing, the final decision is theirs.