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Boulder Bay Realty Group: Pocket Listings and What You Need to Know as You Put Your House on the Market


The real estate market can be a tricky thing to navigate. From buying a new house, selling a house, finding the right real estate agent for you, and more, so many components go into the entire process that some things can fall through the cracks. One of those aspects of the real estate market that is not as well known, but should be common knowledge, is pocket listings. Here’s what you need to know about pocket listings: what they are, the dangers of pocket listings, and how you can be sure your needs and interests are the top priorities.

Pocket listings, or “office exclusive” listings, according to the National Association of Realtors, are “listings in which an agent has a listing agreement and the seller does not authorize the placement of the listing on the MLS.” When sellers enter into a contract with a real estate broker, the agent is required to place the listing on what is referred to as the MLS, or the Multiple Listing Service. This service, dating back to the 1800’s, “is a private offer of cooperation and compensation by listing brokers to other real estate brokers.” The listing information is shared with other brokers, and if they help in the sale and produce a buyer, they receive compensation.

Most importantly, the MLS also helps the sellers’ properties receive more attention and benefits buyers by allowing them to obtain more information about listings. Simply put, it’s a service that promotes a transparent and beneficial real estate market that allows for collaboration between brokers, sellers, and buyers.

While placing listings on the MLS has a number of benefits, it is not required for sellers to do so. In this case, agents must have sellers sign a form detailing their decision to not go in that direction and their understanding that failure to include their listing on the MLS may result in fewer offers, loss in yield, and less exposure of their property to the general public. But while sellers may be aware of the loss of benefits by signing this agreement, many may not be aware of the ethical dilemmas of real estate brokers that come with pocket listings.

First, if a real estate broker suggests a pocket listing, there is a chance of an ethical violation. According to Article 1 of the Realtor Code of Ethics, realtors are required to “promote and protect the interests of the client.” However, if an agent offers a pocket listing, it is "more likely to result in one agent representing the seller and the buyer, and the outcome would be a higher commission for the agent.” This results in the seller being in a position where their interests are not the top priority, a listing that stays on the market longer, and higher commission check that goes right into the agent’s pocket, while the seller sees a lower price for their property.

“When an agent withholds a listing on the MLS, I believe in most every case this is not in the sellers best interest,” said Lynda Anderson, Broker and Owner of Boulder Bay Realty Group. “It may result in reaching fewer potential buyers, and perhaps it may not yield the highest price for the seller. It is important that you have an agent that puts your interest above theirs. Code of Ethics are to be followed at all times for the client’s best interest. When we list a home, we want everyone to know about it, not just our office. We don’t want to delay even a few days in putting it in the MLS and potentially selling it in house, because we are looking to bring in the most buyers and the best return to the seller at all times.”

A recent rise in pocket listings has been attributed to a decrease in homes being put on the market. In markets like Northern California, as much 30% of listings are pocket listings. But while pocket listings seem to be on the rise, realty brokerages such as Boulder Bay Realty Group are pushing against these listings to provide the best service and benefits to their clients.

“We are definitely in a market where there is a shortage of listings. Homes are sold in weeks, days, and even hours,” Anderson said. “Even in this fast paced market, we will still pay extra for professional photos and 3D virtual tours to make sure the home shows at its best. In this market homes are selling quickly, but this is no reason for short cuts. A home should be fully marketed to attract as many buyers for the seller.”

“It is our duty [as realtors] to represent the seller with the highest level of service at all times.”

For more information about pocket listings, please click here! For more information about Boulder Bay Realty Group, please visit them here!

A recent rise in pocket listings has been attributed to a decrease in homes being put on the market. In markets like Northern California, as much 30% of listings are pocket listings. But while pocket listings seem to be on the rise, realty groups like Boulder Bay and others are pushing against these listings to provide the best service and benefits to their clients.

“We are definitely in a market where there is a shortage of listings. Homes are sold in weeks, days, and even hours,” Anderson said. “Even in this market we will pay extra for professional photos and 3D virtual tours to make sure the home shows at its best to draw as many buyers as possible. In this market homes are selling fast but this is not a reason for short cuts. A home should be fully marketed to draw as many buyers for the seller.”

“It is our duty [as realtors] to represent the seller with the highest level of service at all times.”

For more information about pocket listings, please click here

For more information about Boulder Bay Realty Group, please visit them here!

Boulder Bay Realty Group
259 Indiana Ave Suite B, Valparaiso, IN 46383
219-531-6683
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