Redondo Beach CA "Off Market" and Pocket Listings: Townhomes and Houses for Sale

"to die for" kitchen
Every couple of years or so it seems that Real Estate Agents come up with some new preposterous bait and switch hook to attract buyers (I'm sorry to have to say). A few years ago it was that there was a (secret) list of foreclosures that you could only see if you were "working with them". Now the pitch seems to be "I have off market properties that you can see if I am your agent."

Last week I was with some of my buyer clients at an open house in Hermosa Beach CA and I actually over heard the agent working the open house state (in sort of hushed tones as if he was sharing a major trade secret) "you know 50% of the sales in Hermosa are private and done off market. You really have to be working with someone like me to get one of those." Really? Fifty percent? I don't think so.

Which leads me to another one of my favorite questions: "Do these agents really believe this stuff when they say it?" It reminds me of the old joke: What's the difference between a used car salesman and a Real Estate Agent? The used car salesman knows he's lying!

So after that great intro I want to tell you about a few pocket listings that I can sell now "off market" before they hit the MLS lol. Oh, you can only get these if you are working with me! Really.

Hardwood Floors
The first is a "C" Unit Casner built in 2006. It is a rear unit 3 on a lot that's about 2000 sq ft +/-. It  has 4 bedrooms, 2 up and 2 down and 3 full baths. Amazing finish work and upgrades. The kitchen (pictured above) is as the say "to die for" (but I'd prefer not to right now) with double ovens, beautiful counters and back splash and larger than some Tall and Skinny SFRs in the Golden Hills-Golden Triangle neighborhood. The great room and dining room have real hardwood floors. The rear yard is somewhat over size as 3 on a lot townhouses go. Many of the rooms face west so there is ample light in the afternoon and throughout the day. When it hits the market in about mid September, it will be priced in the high $7's. But you can buy it now for $800,000. And here's the rub about many off market sales. The seller wants to make sure they are getting top price to not expose it to the greatest number of potential buyers possible. Fair enough.

Redondo Beach TRW Tract
The second one is a 1400 sq ft single family house in the "TRW" tract of North Redondo Beach 90278. If you are not familiar with the neighborhood I am referring to, the "TRW" tract is found south of Manhattan Beach Blvd, west of Inglewood Ave, east of Vail and north of Robinson. Got that?

If not, look at the North Redondo Beach 90278 map and go to the north east quadrant and look for streets like Dow, Beland, Pinckard, etc. That's where I'm talking about.

So my pocket listing in that neighborhood is a perfect project for a flipper. The house is a 3 bedroom 2 bath on an 8000 sq ft lot (huge). Make no mistake, the house needs work. Here's the good news. My client will sell it for around $700K off market if he can get certain terms (call me for details). Similar houses in great shape could sell for the high $8's or even $9's. So just about workable for a flipper or a great deal for someone looking for a major remodel project.

Up next we have a huge over 2000 sq ft 3 level townhouse built in the late '70s with a very unique floorplan. On the main level when you walk in downstairs there is a huge open bonus room off the garage as well as a bathroom and separate laundry room plus storage. On the middle level you will find the living room, dining room, remodeled kitchen and one bedroom as well as a bathroom. The kitchen was nicely remodeled a few years ago and is quite nice. There is also a nice deck off the living room.

On the third level you'll find 2 more bedrooms, including the master. This is a quiet end unit off the street. The townhouse is located in MLS Area 151 North of Artesia Blvd and will be priced in the $6's with a target in the high $600's.

So are these really "pocket listings" only available to the select few? Yes and no.

I'm not trying to "hoard" these or double end them. Here's the reality of what happens.

TRW Pocket Listing SFR
Most sellers and their agents know weeks or in some cases months in advance that a property will be listed for sale. The lag time often has to do with making repairs, scheduling, vacations, job transfers, uplegs and a ton of other reasons. The typical discussion with a seller may go something like this: "if I can bring you buyer willing to pay (some premium over) list price, would you be willing to sell it before we hit the market." Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no. Or what often happens is that if the seller sees they can get X dollars with only a few showings then they surmise that with more showings they will get X plus. Possible but more likely that buyer is willing to pay more than you can get on the open market because of the exclusivity factor.

So, a few take aways from all this. First, don't mistake properties that agents know about that will be listed, their own listings or others, with those that are for sale and will never hit the market. Not one and the same and two entirely different beasts. Second, buying "off market" may save you the counter offer multiple offer two step but isn't likely to equate to a huge price advantage. The "win" is getting the deal.

So if you are interested in buying an "off market" pocket listing.....