THE MYTH OF THE POCKET LISTING
Every year I sell a few properties that aren't listed in the MLS and don't show up on Zillow, Trulia, or any of the other major websites. Sometimes these are my listings or a property an agent in one of my networking groups knows about. For the most part the sales price is more or less "market value".
In fact this week I showed a few off market "pockets" to some prospective Buyer clients. None of them went anywhere. Hold that thought for a few paragraphs.
Many agents working Open Houses these days are telling Buyers that they have a (secret) list of pockets that you can see but only if you work with them. It is the 2017 version of that great urban legend of 2009-2010 the "Shadow Inventory". Back then, Agents were telling naive Buyers that there were great deals to be had in a (secret) list of foreclosures that only that agent had. Sure. But because everyone wants a bargain some Buyers bought into it.
Today's twist on this old theme is driven by Buyer frustration at the low inventory. And, make no mistake, it is persistently low. But most of the Agents touting their secret list really have nothing and are just trying to pick up new Buyer prospects.
WHY WOULD A SELLER NOT LIST THEIR HOUSE IN THE MLS?
That's a great question. Here's some of the reasons driving the off market sales and pocket listings.
- Preparing a home for sale and having a few hundred people come through and look at your stuff u\is just not that pleasant for many Sellers. So if they can get their price without going through all that, many will take the money and run.
- There might be a tenant in place making Open Houses and multiple showings difficult.
- Sometimes there are personal issues involved such as divorce or an ill family member.
- There is litigation going on.
- Some properties just don't show well.
- Getting a home into escrow quickly to enable an up leg purchase.