pocket listing details

2 Replies

We have a property we'd like to make available as a pocket listing.  How exactly does this work?  May we make the house known as available to purchase to multiple agents, rather than committing to one?  Our preference would be not to sign anything tethering us to a single agent, but have it be an open secret with realtors in the area that the house is available-

Any insights appreciated!

What you are describing is really just a For Sale By Owner, with no advertising. It's also pretty ineffective.

Why are you so terrified of committing to a listing agent who is hired specifically to 1) market your house, 2) get you the highest price possible for your house, and 3) represent your best interests?

Price is determined by supply and demand. Demand is determined by the number of ready, willing, and able buyers who know your house is for sale. 

In other words, you'll most likely get a higher price for your house (and net more, even after paying commissions) if you list it with an agent and let them market it aggressively. Mainly because literally thousands more buyers will know it's for sale once it hits the MLS.

You may be thinking, but why do I need a listing agent? Can't the buyer's agents just bring me a buyer so I only have to pay one commission? The problem with that plan is the MLS has rigid rules, and guarantees for agents involved in a transaction that assures them they will get paid when the transaction closes, and guarantees them a specific dollar amount or percentage in advance. "Off market" and "For Sale by Owner" properties come with no such guarantee, so buyers agents will not be knocking down your door to earn one side of the commission for doing the work of both agents.

Here's something that may work for you: Some MLS systems allow brokers to enter what is referred to as limited service listings (google "flat fee MLS listing" and you won't have any trouble finding one). 

Essentially: you'd pay a brokerage a low flat rate (usually a few hundred bucks) to literally just list your property in the MLS, and nothing else - you'd still have to offer a reasonable commission to a buyer's agent as part of the listing agreement, and you'd be responsible for setting your own pricing, handling showings, negotiating with buyers, handling the paperwork, etc. But you would save on the listing commission, which I assume is your goal?

@Henley H. a "pocket listing" is when you list your property with an agent or broker but he doesn't put it on the MLS. Instead, he shops it around to fellow agents and brokers who might be looking for that specific type of property or area.