Understanding Pocket Listings In Los Angeles

Pocket Listings In

You may have heard (but more likely haven’t) the term “pocket listing.” Either way, a pocket listing, though not all that common, is one more tool you and your agent have in your toolbox for selling or buying a house. While pocket listings in Los Angeles are more common for higher-end homes, they can work effectively for other homes and buyers/sellers. There are benefits, to be sure, of using pocket listings, but there are certain drawbacks as well. So let’s take a look in order to arrive at an understanding of pocket listings in Los Angeles.

What is a Pocket Listing?

Here’s the short version: a pocket listing is a property offered for sale, but one that is purposely not listed in any Multiple Listing Service (MLS). So the agent and the seller keep the listing “in their pocket,” metaphorically speaking. Pocket listings in Los Angeles, then, are a species of private sales that are deliberately not made public, typically for various privacy reasons. Both sellers and buyers use pocket listings often for personal reasons

Further, pocket listings are not all the same because it is an umbrella term that covers a lot of variations. For example, if you sell your house to or buy it from a friend or family member before the agent can get it listed on the MLS, that could be considered a pocket listing. Or someone who doesn’t want her house listed on the MLS for whatever reason would be using a pocket listing. In any case, your agent will still be obliged to get you the best deal possible. (Find out more by calling {phone].)

Pros of Pocket Listings

The pros of pocket listings in Los Angeles include:

PRIVACY

According to agent Nathanial Pitchon Getzels, “Some people don’t want the general public to know they’re selling, or don’t want to have pictures of the insides of their homes all over the Internet – especially celebrities.” And the privacy afforded by pocket listings prevents that. In addition, it keeps all those mere tire kickers and people who are just curious from traipsing through your home and wasting your time. Typically, buyers interested in pocket listing are pre-approved and serious.

MARKET TESTING

For sellers, pocket listings are also a good way to test the market to see what buyers are willing to pay, and for buyers a good way to see what sellers will accept. Doing this before listing on the MLS is a good way to avoid having to reduce the price later on.

AVOIDS LANGUISHING ON THE MLS

One of the worst scenarios for sellers is the one in which their house sits on the market unsold for a long time – because buyers will assume something is wrong with the property. But, according to Devon Thorsby, real estate columnist for U.S. News & World Report, “Listing a property privately is an attractive option to avoid the gaze of the public eye and to protect the property from the stigma that can develop if it remains on the MLS longer than the market average.”

AN OPTION FOR FENCE SITTERS

Many people aren’t really all that interested in buying or selling a house, but will consider is if the price is right. Pocket listings in Los Angeles can be the perfect vehicle in this situation. If, for example, an agent can find a motivated buyer looking for a house like yours, that means an easy transaction without the hassle of listing and showings.

LOWER COMMISSION

Typically, real estate agents charge a commission of about 6% of a homes sale price. But because a pocket listing is outside the bounds of traditional real estate transactions and your agent invests less time and effort, your chances of negotiating a lower commission are much better.

Cons of Pocket Listings

Although pocket listings in Los Angeles have definite advantages, there are some cons as well, such as:

LIMITED EXPOSURE AND MARKETING REACH

When a property is listed on the MLS, it will likely be viewed by millions of people, which greatly increases the odds of a sale fairly soon. That, however, is not the case with a pocket listing because far fewer people are aware of it.

LESS WALK-IN TRAFFIC

While many people shop for homes online now, some still do it the old-school way by driving around and looking for for-sale signs. With a pocket listing, you won’t have a for-sale sign out front so you won’t get this kind of traffic.

POSSIBLE LOWER PRICE

If you don’t put your house on the market by listing it, you’ll never really know what the market will bear with respect to price. Pocket listings often mean fewer and lower bids.

INVISIBLE COMPARABLE SALES

Because pocket listings are “secret,” a lot of agents believe this makes it too difficult to perform any kind of comparative analysis. And this means you can’t really know the fair market value – whether you’re setting an asking price or making an offer.

Consult Your Agent

Pocket listings in Los Angeles can be a valuable tool for both sellers and buyers, but it is not something you should tackle on your own. Operating outside the traditional real estate box in this way requires the expertise of qualified local real estate professionals.

To find out more about pocket listings in Los Angeles, contact us today! [phone}

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