Who Profits From A Pocket Listing?

A: Short answer--the listing brokerage/agent. 
A: Not the seller.

A pocket listing is way for a listing agent to keep your property as "his little secret" until he can find someone to buy your house. So, he puts it on a list and passes it around the office, but seriously, this is just another form of junk mail and a pretense with the hopes that the agent can find a buyer himself and make twice the amount of money as he would if he listed it on the MLS. How do you compare visibility of thousands of professionals and tens of thousands of potential views on the open MLS to the influence of one person? Unless you live in a town of 2000 people and your Realtor owns all the billboards, radio station and the only brokerage in town, you may be getting the short end of the stick here.

The pitch is convincing:
  • "We have the most productive team in the whole city."
  • "We have the biggest team in the city."
  • "Nobody can do it better, so forget the other 9000 Realtors in Austin."
  • "We take calls from 8am to 8pm from every buyer and we will actively sell your house ourselves."
  • "We are better than everybody."
  • "We have more experience than everybody."
  • "We are smarter."
  • "We are better."
  • "Our pigs fly!"
Well, regardless of the pitch, you may not know what I know:
  • The over whelming majority of transactions are between two brokerages--not in-house deals between two people who attend the same social events. One broker representing the seller and one representing the buyer. That is how most deals happen.
  • Sellers overwhelmingly get better deals and make more money when there is competition. Just like your business. Competition comes from listing on the MLS and publishing that listing across hundreds of web sites--not sharing it with 1 or 2 "qualified" people over lunch or putting your house on a flier.
  • Pocket listings are good for the broker, so unless you have a better way to put your house in front of a thousand buyers in a matter of hours--letting a broker hide your listing in his/her pocket in lieu of selling it on the open market, you are probably going to have to learn that Real Estate is like any other modern day business--it thrives on technology.
  • Pocket Listings are Real Estate welfare and the brokerage is the recipient of your gracious contribution to their cause.
I am sure this kind of post offends many traditional Realtors. I have two statements for you:

One. I am sorry I offended you.
Two. Now stop doing that.


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