Pocket Listings; the down and dirty

greedy agent“Pocket listing” means that a home is not listed in the multiple listing service (MLS) but is instead marketed directly by the broker — it is in that person’s “pocket”. In many cases there is not even a written agreement, but just a loosey goosey verbal agreement. The pocket listing is like a secret FSBO.

As an Exclusive Buyers Agent I never list any property, so I don’t really care who has the MLS listings or the pocket un-listings.

The main reason pocket listings irritate me is because I don’t like half truths.

So, here is the whole truth and nothing but the truth about pocket listings. Lets peel back the phoney layers, and expose the down and dirty about pocket listings…

 
1. A pocket listing only benefits one person…the broker that is trying to get both ends of the commission and put more money in their own pocket. Most of the time, they do not even want another agent to even know about it. Lets face it, greed is powerful and money makes good people think poorly. There is no benefit to the seller who will have less buyers looking at the property and less buyers fighting to put an offer on it.

2. Seller will NOT get top dollar, regardless of the baloney that the agent claims. Since this is a secret listing, it will not drive multiple buyers to compete for the property. How many buyers can this ONE agent really bring? a handful? How many buyers will putting it in the MLS bring? dozens?

If open and broad advertising really does not bring more buyers, why would any listing agents spend money on advertising?

3. Agents that spend time promoting a “pocket listing” could be breeching their fiduciary obligation to their listed seller clients.

Think of this: A regular seller lists his property with an agent who promises to sell the property quickly for top dollar. Agent brags about all the marketing they will do to promote their property and get the highest price. This is a fiduciary relationship where the seller puts the agreement in writing and gives the agent exclusive rights to sell the property and the agent in turn promises total loyalty…

So instead, the agent is trying to sell a “pocket” listing, before someone else does.

Hmmmm…

If the seller learns that the agent is out promoting some pocket listing down the street, instead of pushing their property as promised, the listed seller may feel betrayed.

The seller could have grounds to cancel his written listing agreement due to the brokers breech of trust. Yes, that may be a stretch, but stranger things have happened…

At minimum, the agent needs to turn their full attention to the sellers that they committed to legally. Committed seller clients should be priority.

Last but not least…


Sellers that agree to a pocket listing are blinded by a lie.
They are snowed by the thought that some super agent is going to sell the property all by themselves (with their limited contacts) for top dollar…

If you believe that, call me…I know of some swampland for sale in Florida.

For expert Buyer Representation (without any swamp land), call Buyers Broker of Florida 407-539-1053

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