What’s a “pocket listing”?


Occasionally, I have clients who want to try to sell their property, but they want to keep it very low key – this is what we call a soft sell. They don’t want their neighbors and everybody else knowing they are thinking of moving. They don’t want pictures of the inside of their home on the Internet. They don’t want signs in their yards or people driving by. They don’t want brokers unknown to them going through their home. They don’t want to go into full sales mode with its constant upheaval of life due to numerous showings. They may just want to test the waters and see what interest they can generate or what offers they could get from qualified buyers. In this case, a pocket listing is a good fit.

You may have heard the term “pocket listing” before and wondered what it means. A pocket listing is an informal exclusive arrangement a seller has with one broker to show and sell their property. The property is not listed on the MLS (multiple listing service), so no other brokers or real estate firms are aware of it. The address is not shown on the listing broker’s website; just a description and price may be found. Interested parties have to contact the broker’s office for more details.

Brokers who have pocket listings get them for various reasons. They may be seen as an expert in a neighborhood area, such as Newlands or Martin Park. Brokers who reside in that neighborhood may know its residents personally. Anyone looking for a house in that area might contact a resident broker to see if she or he is aware of something new coming on the market.

In another case, a broker may be known as an expert in a type of real estate, such as rural properties. This is the case with our firm, KL Realty, thus we often have several pocket listings. We actually have a separate page on our website just for them. We also often get calls from buyers looking for specific types of rural properties, and we are constantly looking for buyers and sellers that match up.

In another situation, a broker may get a pocket listing simply because a client has a comfort and trust factor with him or her. They may have worked together before and/or are friends. The seller really wants the least amount of stress possible, and that means dealing with a broker they have confidence in!

If you would like to sell your home but the process seems too overwhelming, consider soft selling it through a pocket listing with a trusted broker.