What The MLS Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pocket Listings
The MLS recently ran a large ad in the Los Angeles Times entitled something like, “Don’t get SHORTCHANGED by a POCKET LISTING”
The ad gives the impression that basically all properties for sale should be listed on the MLS, and if the home is not listed on the MLS, then the home may sell for less than the market price. A pocket listings is any type of property for sale with a real estate agent who does not post it to a multiple listing service. A multiple listing service (MLS) is a service for cooperation of brokers, sharing and dissemination of property information to foster the transaction of real estate. MLS services are usually local, but web-based, and they are facing increasing competition from ever more powerful national and local real estate websites.
As a top Realtor who specializes in pocket listings, I will share with you the facts and fallacies of pocket listings. My team has helped more buyers and sellers with more pocket listings in Downtown than any other agents or brokers that we know of. We have been involved with nearly 500 pocket listings over the past 10 years. 45% of our buyers over the past several years have purchased pocket listings because they have been the smart choice nearly half the time.
Like all money matters, when it comes to financial results, buyers, sellers and agents must pay attention to supply and demand. The more buyers who find out about the property for sale, the faster and more money that it will sell for. So the questions is, “Does the MLS attract more buyers or does a pocket listing attract more buyers.” Most agents understand that, in terms of sheer numbers, the MLS will deliver more buyer prospect than a pocket listing without the MLS.
Since the MLS ad basically infers that pocket listings are a better deal for the buyer, it stands to reason that buyers are likely to be happy with pocket listings. And if buyers feel happy with pocket listings, then they are likely to buy the pocket listing property.
As for the agents who take part in pocket listings, they say that there are undeniable benefits of a pocket listing: privacy, exclusivity, excitement, speed, efficiency, profit for the agent, and satisfaction of the buyer and seller. Those are some great reasons to do pocket listings. So the question is: “When should a listing be a pocket listing, and when should the MLS be omitted from the marketing plan.” and “When should a pocket listing not be used?”
The answer may surprise you. While the MLS has recently lost some of its mandate, it is still one of the most important — usually THE most important medium to advertise a property. At the same time, a pocket listing does provide more privacy, more control, more freedom, more flexibility, exclusivity, and often more excitement, speed, efficiency, profit and satisfaction. So the answer is to do something that most agents have not yet figured out… a combination of MLS and pocket listing. Most agents have not yet figured out how, when or even why to do both.
One team has figured it out. The Corey Chambers team offers, “Your Loft Sold GUARANTEED or We Will Buy It” If a property is not sold within the listing term, then Corey Chambers will buy the property at a price agreeable to the seller. A combination of the MLS and pocket listing are part of the guaranteed sale process. This makes sense to take advantage of the distribution of the MLS and also use the power of a pocket listing.
More and more home sellers are taking the safe bet, and choosing to work with a real estate team that has the experience and knowledge to help sellers and buyers take full advantage of the power of the MLS while not missing out on the instant-sale capabilities of a pocket listing for sellers. Most buyers are oblivious to pocket listings, have no idea that they are missing out the unlisted bargain properties for sale. Buyers often notice that the best deals are selling before they have a chance to see them, and they cannot figure out why.
Here’s how buyers and sellers can each take advantage of pocket listings:
Buyers: Beat out other buyers to the best deals. Get FREE priority access to pocket listings and listed properties as a VIP buyer. Visit LAsecretLofts.com to get started.