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Houses are bought and sold all year long, but spring is real estate season. The industry’s busiest few months are just heating up, and if you’re planning to sell, you’re probably scrambling to get your property in order and prettied up for the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing.
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However, before you give your agent the green light to put your house on the market, you should know about an alternative way to handle real estate transactions that can be quick, quiet and clandestine.
“A pocket listing, often known as a silent or off-market listing, is a property that an agent maintains in their pocket,” said Corey Tyner, real estate investor and founder of Buy Yo Dirt. “The home for sale isn’t formally listed in the MLS, even if the home seller has an agreement signed with a real estate agent.”
The vast majority of homes are not sold through private channels this way because pocket listings usually only make sense in the rarest of situations. So, in today’s extraordinary seller’s market, is a pocket listing something that’s worth considering? GOBankingRates asked the experts.
Discretion and the Air of Exclusivity
Pocket listings have long been associated with movie stars, athletes, politicians and other high-profile, high-income people who value the tiny slivers of privacy that they’re able to retain. That’s because it keeps their real estate transactions out of sight and off the books.
“Many years ago, pocket listings were created as a technique to promote high-profile persons or luxury residences discreetly,” said Tyner. “They were considered exclusive because they were listed under the radar of mainstream agencies, purchasers, and even the press.”
When wealthy, prominent people are in the market to sell, they or their agents might inconspicuously approach potential buyers to conduct the transaction in a stealthy fashion out of the public eye.
“Sometimes a home seller will sell their home through a private network or someone they know who has an interest in the property,” said author and realtor Jason Gelios of Community Choice Realty. “This can be advantageous if the home seller is seeking to sell privately, without the showings or publicity attached to placing a home on the market.”
So, while it might make sense for J. Lo or Julia Garner, are pocket listings ever a good idea for an average Joe whose last name isn’t Pesci or Rogan, particularly in today’s hot market?
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