What is a Pocket Listing?
A pocket listing in NYC is a property where an agent has an exclusive listing agreement with a seller, but the property is not publicly advertised or put on the RLS (the city’s de-facto MLS). Instead, the listing agent will tap into his or her network to find a buyer for the property. An agent may do this through blasts to all REBNY members (without disclosing the exact property address), by using his or her own buyer pool, by reaching out directly to other agents that typically sell in that neighborhood, etc.
Why Would a Seller Want to Sell Via a Pocket Listing Rather Than Broadly Advertise?
There are a variety of reasons why a seller may want to sell via a pocket listing.
Some sellers do not want the world to know they are selling their home. This is particularly true for people who the news media like to focus on.
It can be quite disruptive to sell a home when you are living there. As a seller, you need to clean the home and make it presentable and leave the home before every visit. If your agent is able to carefully select who comes to see your home and pre-clears them to confirm they are real buyers, this will make the seller’s life much easier. The fewer showings that lead to a sale, the happier sellers are.
For homes on the higher end of the market, you often find buyers who want an exclusive opportunity that everyone else is not privy to.
Making the Change from a Pocket Listing to a Public Listing
If a pocket listing does not sell in the desired time frame, a seller can always switch to a traditional listing that is publicly marketed. All they have lost is time, but they have not created a stale listing, which can be fatal for a property. Because the pocket listing was not known to the public, when a seller decides to put their property on the RLS, it looks like a brand new listing.
Digs Realty is a residential real estate brokerage in NYC that provides full service at a discount. The Digs Mission: Saving you money without compromising service. We give our home buyers up to 67% of our commission and charge our sellers up to 4% less than traditional brokerages.