When someone is ready to sell their home, they often enlist the help of a realtor who has the ability to market the home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which promotes the home to licensed brokers who can help connect them with interested buyers. Sometimes, however, a seller may decide not to include their home in the MLS, opting instead promote the home privately. Commonly referred to as a private or pocket listing, this real estate sales tactic can be used for a variety of reasons to achieve certain strategic real estate goals.
According to an article on SmartAsset.com , “Pocket listings make real estate marketing more exclusive. In the past, pocket listings have been primarily used by celebrities and high-end sellers, but they’ve recently become popular in the mainstream real estate market.”
Could this listing strategy be beneficial in the sale of your home? And, as a buyer, how do you gain access to such exclusive real estate listings? Read on to learn more about private listings with real life examples from Lori Corken, High End Realtor, and owner and managing broker of Corken + Company Real Estate.
Q: What is a private listing and where can they be found?
A: A private listing, also known as an off-market or exclusive listing, is a home that is not advertised through traditional channels such as the MLS in order to maintain privacy or exclusivity, as they are often very high end properties. These homes are more commonly promoted through the high end realtor’s own network of contacts and must be toured by appointment only.
Q: Why would someone choose to list their home privately?
A: Sometimes sellers aren’t ready to announce their desire to sell to the general public for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, if a home has an extraordinary feature or price, it also helps to qualify potential buyers and to and pre-sell the unique features of the property, as well manage showing expectations of all parties. This is also useful when a seller wants to sell, but does not immediately need to sell.
Q: Does this save time?
A: It doesn’t necessarily save time, but better manages the time when the property is shown. When listings like these are found by a potential buyer, more than likely they were discovered via non-traditional methods, which adds a few extra steps to make arrangements to view the property, which equates to a higher engagement in the property.
Q: Are there additional benefits?
A: It offers the opportunity for unique and more targeted marketing, as well as the opportunity to “test” the market on the price, interest and input from peers, as showings are on a more intimate basis. It also allows for more specific timing of a sale and the pursuit of a replacement property.
Q: What are the disadvantages to listing a home privately or off-market?
A: Patience. The more unique the property is, the smaller the target audience is in general, and it can take time to find the right match. Again, these properties are often marketed through the High End Realtors personal network of agents.