What is a Pocket Listing and How Does it Help Homeowners in Atlanta?

If you’re a homeowner and are thinking of selling, you might, if conditions are right, consider a pocket listing. Basically, a pocket listing is a sort of listing before a home hits the MLS. It has definite advantages for sellers under certain conditions (as well as some cons), and it is something you should consider in the right circumstances. To clear up some of the confusion surrounding this, let’s consider what a pocket listing is and how it can help homeowners in Atlanta.

What Is a Pocket Listing?

In the typical selling scenario, a seller hires a listing agent to market her home. A major prong of that marketing is listing the home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – a database available to a very large pool of buyers that lets these many buyers know the home is officially for sale. But that doesn’t happen with a pocket listing.

With a pocket listing, the home isn’t put on the MLS or any other online listing venue. Instead, after the Atlanta homeowner lets her agent know that she wants to sell, the agent shares the listing with other select agents (not putting it on the MLS) who can then share the listing with likely qualified buyers.

Also known as an off-market listing, a pocket listing, then, is primarily marketed to potential buyers by word of mouth or through private listing services. And it carries no agreement that the seller’s agent will work with other real estate professions, thus eliminating the standard commission sharing.

For a fuller explanation of pocket listings, contact your Atlanta agent. Call (404) 977-5054 to discover more.

Why Sellers Use Pocket Listings

So why would sellers use this kind of listing? 

  • Privacy – High-profile sellers like celebrities or just people who want to retain their anonymity may opt for a pocket listing because they’ll then have control over who has access to the listing and the property.
  • Market testing – Homeowners in Atlanta who aren’t entirely sure they want to sell or who want to find out if their desired selling price will work often choose a pocket listing. A pocket listing will allow them to test the market and then adjust their desire to sell or price accordingly.
  • Selling to a specific buyer – Occasionally, sellers already have a specific buyer in mind or even lined up. In this case, they can sell directly to that person without dealing with all the other buyers a standard listing would draw in.

These things can, of course, be accomplished without a pocket listing, so be sure to consult your Atlanta agent to determine which option is best for you.

Pocket Listing Pros

The pros of using pocket listings tie right in with the reasons sellers use them, for example:

  • Ability to maintain privacy – The home won’t be listed on the MLS and other places online, so sellers won’t have to deal with potential buyers – perfect strangers who may not even be serious buyers –traipsing through their home.
  • Pricing leverage – Since sellers who use a pocket listing aren’t typically desperate to sell and potential buyers are usually more serious and qualified, it’s more likely that sellers can get their asking price.
  • No market stagnation – If a home sits unsold on the market for any length of time, buyers will avoid it because they automatically assume something is wrong with the home. This doesn’t happen with a pocket listing, though, because it’s not on the MLS and not officially on the market.

A Few Cons

Now, there are a couple of cons to pocket listings, such as . . . 

  • Fewer buyers – With more limited exposure, a home will have fewer buyers making offers.
  • Potential longer selling time – Similarly, with less exposure and fewer buyers, a home may take longer to sell.

The Need for a Atlanta Agent

A pocket, as you can see, does have some definite advantages for the right seller in the right situation. But it has drawbacks too. That’s why it’s so critical to have an experienced Atlanta agent in your corner to help determine if this kind of listing is right for you. So if you’re a Atlanta homeowner considering a pocket listing, contact us today at (404) 977-5054.