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Real estate 'pocket listings' go mainstream

Pocking listings in Fla.
Non-MLS listings (pocket listings) aren’t illegal or unethical in Fla. when directed by the seller – but they do carry additional complications, says Margy Grant, Florida Realtors vice president and general counsel. Watch Grant’s Take 5 video for more information.

NEW YORK – Sept. 28, 2015 – “Pocket listings,” which are not advertised to the public but primarily marketed by word of mouth among agent networks, are gaining popularity at all price points as inventory remains tight and the housing market picks up steam.
Long used by wealthy, high-profile clients seeking privacy, some agents criticize pocket listings for being anti-competitive and preventing sellers from receiving full market value.
However, others believe “whisper” or “coming soon” pocket listings are useful when homeowners want a quick sale, with the understanding that the home might not fetch top dollar.
Data on pocket listings is scarce, but an increasing number of homes spend only a day in the local multiple listing service (MLS) or never appear in cities such as the District of Columbia, Denver, California’s Silicon Valley, South Florida and Austin, Texas.
Most state laws don’t prohibit pocket listings, but they do require agents to serve their clients’ best interests. While “best interests” usually includes wide-scale advertising to maximize value, some states let agents skip that step with written consent from the client.
Even so, there is a concern that the practice can lead to discrimination, especially if the pocket listings are shared with agents whose clients all happen to be white – or that if it generally puts unconnected buyers at a disadvantage.
However, some agents say pocket listings create an air of exclusivity, and they help sellers avoid the stigma of a home that has been on the market too long.
Source: Wall Street Journal (09/25/15) P. A3; Mitchell, Josh
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Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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