Why pocket listings might not be right for your client

by Vernon Jones20 Apr 2013

Are your peers working for themselves? It’s a question that begs to be asked if an agent keeps pocket listings for a triplex or some other small property instead of taking it to the MLS, caution experts.

“That size of property definitely should go on the (Multiple Listing Service),” investment specialist and Realtor Banny Bar said. “In fact, I would say that buyers for any property with less than 14 or 15 doors are self-directed buyers who are looking for properties on their own and on the MLS system. For those properties pocket listing has the potential to extend the listing time and attract fewer buyers and so lower the price that the seller gets.”

It’s a lesson that an increasing number of investors may be learning for themselves as they cede to Realtor requests to keep their properties off the multiple listings service and allow them to troll for buyers through their own contacts and via their own websites.

The incentives for the client often include a discounted commission for the agent, while that real estate professional usually avoids having to split that fee with another Realtor.

“Pocket listings can work for the client with a larger property to sell,” said Bar, “if the real estate agent has years of experience and is connected with the buyers. Still, investors have to really know their brokers and how they plan to market the property if they are not putting it on MLS.”

Still, often it’s the client who wants to keep the listing off the MLS and the prying eyes of thousands of buyers. That decision has its downsides that sellers of small investment properties should consider before opting to guard their privacy through pocket listing, suggests Bar.

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