Pocket Listings in River Place

I just recently sent a message out to the broker of a prominent brokerage to ask about their pocket listings in the community. A pocket listing is a home that the broker knows about in the community, but has not been listed publicly or on the MLS for other Realtors to see and view. This is sometimes thought to be a good way to get visibility in a known brokerage for your home that has not yet been listed, but if you think this through, it is really missing more than 99% of the Realtors who may have buyers for your home. In fact, you may only really be getting the attention of one person--your friend in the brokerage.

Here is how this works:
  • The seller knows someone who lists homes in the community--possibly a neighbor or friend.
  • The seller knows that the Realtor is a knowledgeable person in the community--for example, River Place.
  • The seller tells the Realtor--"If you have a buyer for my house, let me know. We might like to sell if you find a buyer...".
  • The seller believes that a brokerage that lists homes in the community is a brokerage that sells homes in the community. 
Here is the problem. Listing agents are very seldom (repeat VERY seldom) the agent that is bringing buyers into your home and ALMOST NEVER the same brokerage that ultimately brings the buyer who buys the house. Just because a listing agent puts the house on the market, does not mean that they are responsible for any of the marketing or internet resources that married your home's buyer to your sale. A good listing agent will help you price your home, get your home ready to put on the market, and negotiate for you when the offer rolls in. A strong listing agent and brokerage will also bring buyers to their web site by the hundreds every day so that your home gets very high exposure to as many people out there who are looking in your neighborhood. Ultimately, it is about exposure to buyers, and to other Realtors in the MLS system. The fact that your Realtor lists a lot of homes in your neighborhood has no impact on whether your home will sell or not. And if your home is a "pocket listing" with a friend, well, you should expect to never sell your home. This is no more effective than having a car for sale in your garage. If the neighbors are the only ones who know that you are selling your car--your car is not likely to sell. It is just not how cars (or houses) are sold in today's market.

So, don't be dazzled by the number of signs in your neighborhood. Remember, selling your home is about visibility and marketing. The more exposure you have, the more likely your home will sell faster than the other homes in your community that are for sale. If you really are not serious about selling your home, "listing" it in a Realtor's pocket portfolio will probably give you a good feeling about doing something. But if you really want to sell your home, you should ask for the best possible marketing to buyers--this excludes pocket listing (by its very definition).

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