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Pocket Listings: A Growing Trend in the Market

If you have been keeping up with real estate news, you would know that we are currently in the midst of a housing shortage, and that this low supply-high-demand environment is creating an interesting and expensive “seller’s market” in communities across the country. Buyers are desperate for available listings, and the combative measures of new constructions are slow going. 

What are pocket listings? These “secret listings” are typically kept off of the multiple listing service (MLS) used by agents in selling their properties, instead of being promoted. This capitalizes on the excess of agents and shortage of properties, giving those who hold “pocket listings” a chance to offer their clients an exclusive property, making them more attractive as a seller, and creating a sense of urgency in the buyer. 

“There’s so many agents out there and buyers are already on Zillow or Trulia, and they know everything, you need something more to offer than what they already have access to,” said Gary Gold, a Los Angeles-based luxury Realtor.

Another, Virginia-based realtor, Steven Wynands, added, “With competition on so many fronts, agents need to find ways to increase their value. Pocket listings [...] are one method of doing so.”

Pocket listings are shared a number of ways, often through apps or Facebook groups. Brokerages and agencies like Douglas Elliman, Re/Max on the Charles and Realty One Group Mountain Desert all use groups like this to share pocket listings before they hit the market. 

In the end, however, Gary Gold believes individuals are equipped to sell when they use the MLS. “It’s hard to promote something and keep it a secret at the same time,” he said.

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