Real Estate Terminology July 22, 2020

Understanding Pocket Listings in Real Estate

Not every home sold gets a shiny new for sale sign out front. Some homes that are for sale change hands quickly and quietly without any public advertising whatsoever. The real estate industry refers to these as “pocket listings.” You may also hear pocket listings referred to as “coming soon” listings or “whisper” listings.

Pocket listings used to be the domain of the very famous or the very wealthy. People who liked to protect their privacy would typically work with an agent who could find a buyer among word-of-mouth networks of agents representing high-end buyers. Often this happened only in urban areas or in the luxury segment. Still, now in markets where inventory is tight and bidding wars are not uncommon, pocket listings are becoming somewhat more mainstream.

During the technology age of marketing homes via the web and social media, why not advertise a home in a market where multiple offers are the norm? It can depend. In some cases, the seller may want a quick and painless sale and would prefer not to go through the traditional process of cleaning, curb appeal sprucing, and open houses. When the seller’s agent happens to know the buyers directly, often a simple walk-through with prospective buyers is enough to secure one acceptable offer.

Sellers should understand that it’s possible for a pocket listing to generate a slightly lower price. While it’s not always the case, the trade-off for a quick, quiet sale may be worth it. If you’re considering a pocket listing, you will likely be required to sign something which indicates your consent to avoid a wide-scale advertising effort. An agent has a responsibility to try and secure a seller the best possible price and will want to make sure there’s a clear understanding.

Pros and Cons of a Pocket Listing

There are many items to consider when selling a home, especially if you are going to do a Pocket Listing. Below is a recap of the pros and cons of a pocket listing from an article by

  • Pros for the seller is that they maintain their privacy and that a pocket listing can prevent the unfortunate experience of having a home’s value decrease because it remained on the market too long.
  • Pros for the buyer is that the competition won’t be as fierce, the buying process will be more flexible, and they may be able to purchase the home below market value.
  • Cons for the sellers is that there will be fewer buyers offering on the home, and it may take longer for the house to sell.
  • Cons for the buyers is that there will be less wiggle room on the price, and there will be a lack of information and photos on the home.

On the whole, casting the widest possible net for a buyer is the best strategy for securing the highest closing price. Still, if you’re more comfortable with a quick and quiet approach, you might want to talk to an agent about the prospect of a pocket listing.

I know selling is a tough decision, with numerous factors to considers. Give me a call, and I can answer your questions and put your mind at ease. 928.830.6976