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Pocket Listings: Myths-busted!

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

We came across an article from Bryan Robertson of the Sereno group and had to share it! There have been a slew of recent articles about why pocket listings are bad for business. We aren’t buying any of those claims, they are myths and not the real reason some agents don’t like pocket listings. Bryan will bust those myths below.

Mention “pocket listings” to most real estate agents and they’ll tell you myriad reasons why they’re bad for the agents, sellers, and appraisers.  The local MLS will try to fine agents with pocket listings and the local REALTOR leadership will raise ethics concerns.  All of this done – even if the agent has an “exclude from MLS form”.  There’s a real reason for why REALTORS don’t like “pocket listings” (aka “off market listings”) and it has nothing to do with any of that.

recently article published by NAR would have us believe that homes not placed on the MLS:

– skew a buyers perspective of the market

– aren’t available as comparables for appraisers, agents, etc

– a disservice to clients (sellers)

Let’s do a little “Mythbusters” investigation on all those claims to see which ones really hold water.  Then I’ll tell you what is really behind this movement.

CLAIM 1:  Skews a buyers market perspective – FALSE!  When an off-market listing comes on the market around Silicon Valley the listing agent often sends the information to other agents and managers to “get the word out”.  They usually get a solid response and the home sells pretty much at market rates.

CLAIM 2:  Aren’t available as comps – FALSE!  This is just plain laziness.  Seriously, you can’t look in the tax records to find a comp?  If you can’t find enough market comps the next place to look is the tax records.  It’s not that hard to do – stop whining.

CLAIM 3:  A disservice to clients – FALSE!  If the client wants to list “off market”, that’s their choice.  There are many reasons including privacy, price range, strong buyer demand, and others that mean the seller will do just fine selling off market.  It is very rare a buyer gets a “deal”.  What the buyer gets is less hassle.

THE REAL REASON REALTORS HATE POCKET LISTINGS: Unlevel playing field

The MLS is designed to ensure a level playing field by getting listings to all agents.  If a listing isn’t on the MLS it means that the only agents who know about it are the ones who are active, engaged, and networked.  The idea that a small group of agents, or a single agent, could have an unfair advantage with buyers or sellers just drives the leadership nuts.  Never mind the fact that this is already a very competitive business.

My advice for agents wanting to stop pocket listings – don’t.  Just do a better job of being connected to learn what the market is doing. Personally, the agent who knows about a lot of pocket listings is probably more on top of the market than someone who just checks the MLS.  Think about that.

Alex Clark, Founder of PocketListings.net:

“Up until now MLS was the only game in town to share listings easily between brokerages, but as we’ve said before, now there is the internet. Technology has changed dramatically in the past 5-10 years and some sellers realize they can get the price they want without ever going through the headaches of being on MLS (open houses, days on market, public price reductions, etc.). The only people that suffer are the agents programmed to only look for property for their buyers on MLS. Our job as agents (yes, I am an active, licensed agent selling real estate on and off our MLS) is to work for our clients and yield a high sales price. Exposure is the name of the game, and if a property can be exposed via internet, email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, a blog, a website, and so many other avenues that didn’t exist when MLS was conceived. The argument about hoarding commissions is just lame. Use your negotiating skills to not only secure a pocket listing for your buyer, but also make sure you get a fair commission.  Pocket Listings are not illegal, they are not unethical, and they are not unfair.  The only people that complain about them are the agents that don’t have the wherewithal to adjust to the changing landscape that is marketing real estate for sale. It’s high time an alternative to MLS comes along, and it’s just a matter of time before MLS, as we know it today, either adapts or goes away,” Alex Clark

 Source: Active Rain

Jaw-Dropping Pocket Listing

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

One word: WOW!

Location: Palmetto Bluff, S.C.
Price: $6,250,000
The Skinny: Not yet officially on the market, this classic Lowcountry estate occupies 24 acres within the 20,000-acre resort community of Palmetto Bluff, a newish conservation-minded development between Savannah and Hilton Head. This casual compound, centered around a luxurious-yet-unpretentious 5,200-square-foot main house, includes a three-bedroom guest house and a four-car detached garage. Despite the rural setting there are plenty of amenities integrated into the Palmetto Bluff resort, including an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, four restaurants, a boathouse, a lawn and racquet club, an equestrian center, and the Auberge spa. That desirable combination of first-class amenities and down-home country setting brings high prices, as this estate is asking $6.25M, despite having just two bedrooms in the main house.

Source: Curbed.com

Tis The Season For “Temp-Off-The-Market” Listings

November 29, 2012 Leave a comment

This week and last, I’ve seen countless emails like this from real estate professionals:

” My listing is off MLS for the holidays, but still available.”

” Withdrawn in MLS, but seller wants to sell before Spring!”

” Not back on MLS until January, but actively showing. Motivated Sellers!”

” Off MLS for holidays, but can still show with some notice.”

During the past two weeks, in Marin and San Francisco, almost 100 listings have been withdrawn or temporarily taken off the market- but they aren’t really off the market.  

Contrary to popular belief, homes DO sell during the holiday season. Last year, in San Francisco alone, there were over 350 homes sold from November 15th through the end of the year.

So how do you market your listing during the holidays when it’s off MLS and your sellers still expect you to sell their home before Spring? You use PocketListings.net. Why? On Pocketlistings.net any post can be searched, linked to, ranked, Shared, emailed, marketed, and seen by potentially thousands of people around the world. We also feed every post you do to our Twitter page  (over 1800 followers) and to our Facebook (over 1600 friends).

Your sellers may go dark for the holiday, but your listing doesn’t have to!

“Hip Pockets”

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

In Dallas, pocket listings are “hip.”

The vast majority of home sellers who list their homes with an agent put the property in the multiple listing service and stick a sign in the yard. But more and more folks opt to market their property on the down low. Agents in Dallas call them hip-pocket listings.

The number of such off-market home deals has ballooned as the number of properties available has declined in Dallas-area neighborhoods. The trend is especially gaining steam in affluent neighborhoods in North Dallas, Highland Park and Lakewood.

“With the shortage of inventory — especially in the Park Cities — more hip-pockets are selling,” said Amy Detwiler, an agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “A lot of people prefer private sales because they don’t want to put their house on the open market.

“It is privacy issue,” says Detwiler, who estimates that 30 percent of the sales in her office are hip-pocket transactions. “Sometimes I put a sign up after the transaction closes, but not before.”So rather than endure legions of weekend lookie-loos and have images of the inside of their properties plastered all over the Internet, these buyers and their agents keep the listing a secret.

Well, sort of. To sell the house, someone has to know about it. “We rely on our Realtor network to get the word out for hip-pocket listings,” said Karen Luter of Allie Beth Allman and Associates. “We have a hot sheet, and they get spread around at Realtor networking groups,” she said.

Luter said some sellers she represents don’t want to go through the entire process of putting their house on the MLS, with photographs and scheduling open houses.

“There is also an unspoken prestige with hip-pocket listings,” she said. She’s marketing another North Dallas property that the owner doesn’t want to list formally right now. If it doesn’t sell, the home might get a traditional listing after the first of the year.

“If they have a great property, they can give it a shot,” she said. “But the property has to be very unique — it has to be best in show.”The scant number of homes on the market in some neighborhoods is the chief reason off-market listings are on the rise, agents and analysts agree.

“It says that market for good listings is getting very tight,” said Steve Murray, founder of Colorado-based residential brokerage consulting firm Real Trends Inc. “This is happening in other markets as well, especially in higher-priced segments.

“This may be the case for some time as prices haven’t recovered enough to bring new supplies of inventory to match the demand from buyer.”

The number of homes for sale in North Texas has dropped about a third since mid-2010. There is only a 4.5-month supply of houses on the market. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market by real estate analysts.

“In a seller’s market, you always have more hip-pocket listings as the market turns around,” said agent Lydia Player of Ebby Halliday Realtors. “And it still only works if you have a realistic price — people aren’t going to overpay.” “We have only a two-month inventory in that neighborhood,” she said. “And the owners don’t want to have a parade of people through their home.

There’s a lot happening that never shows up in the MLS numbers.

 

Source: DallasNews

 

Off-MLS real estate, pocket listings are the new secondary home market.

November 14, 2012 Leave a comment

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And Agents, bloggers and brokerages coast-to-coast are jumping on board.

 


MLS Alternative & Real Estate Match Making Service Is Here To Stay

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

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Today, we passed 1180 members and $1.5B in posted real estate!

PocketListings.net, the MLS Alternative and our product Real Estate Match™ is no trend, it’s here to stay!

List and search is old school. List, Match, Search, Share, Tweet, Like, and Link are new school and We are the Dean.

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Pocket listings sales (“off MLS “) are becoming the new school of thought for real estate in different markets and states across the U.S. Until recently, off-market sales were typically luxury listings, uber wealthy and celebrity trades. Although that demographic is still the most active in the pocket market, it’s quickly expanding to everyone and it’s more than a trend. So what’s behind the shift?

First and foremost, technology is rapidly changing the landscape of real estate, not as quickly as other industries, but it’s happening. The days of sharing real estate information only through MLS are gone, long gone. Real estate professionals must use the new channels of marketing to stay relevant, have a competitive edge and keep their sellers happy. By channels, I mean digital and mobile: email marketing, social media, sharing, SMS alerts, visual (Pinterest, Instagram), augmented reality, video, blogging and so on. Real estate marketing of today is about sharing, engagement, interactivity, and story telling with rich and relevant content. It’s far beyond the days of just posting your listing to the MLS.

For the professionals that swim in the top agent pool (and use that as a selling point) their membership networks allow the sharing of listings amongst their group and again, not searchable to anyone outside of that network. It’s doesn’t offer much more of a benefit than a ineffective mass email or sharing at an office meeting.

Lastly, brokerages and agents are increasingly frustrated with the inaccuracies of listing aggregators like Zillow and Trulia and the “ownership” of their data by these sites. Without cutting off the listing feed (which would be detrimental to most), brokerages will never fully own their data, unless they buy it back from the aggregators. Brokerages and agents that “get it” will A. never buy back their own data and B. inevitably seek alternate and supplemental listing dispersement solutions and new technology. These alternate/supplemental solutions to bridge this gap are few and far between; and that’s where PocketListings.net comes in.

PocketListing.net Founder, Alexander Clark:

“The argument for skipping MLS is always the same, “You gotta expose your property to MLS to get the best price.” We’ve heard it a thousand times over. It’s simply not true. That is the old way of thinking. The new way of thinking is that a good price is what a buyer is willing to pay, and what a seller is willing to accept, and exposure can come from any number of online or offline channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, email, etc.) None of these companies or “social networks” existed when MLS was created, neither did the Internet! MLS was designed prior to the internet and the free and open exchange of information and and WAY before social networking. We envision an age where licensed real estate professionals are connecting through multiple channels and creating relationships with colleagues and clients alike that foster transactions from one person to another regardless of whether it’s “on” or “off” the market. If your home or property is for sale, it’s “on” the market. It’s as simple as that. And if you get the price you want, the rest is irrelevant.”

At PocketListings.net we are simply redefining the meaning of a pocket listing, by creating a simple solution, that’s proven to work.

*For a recent study of  the inaccuracies of listing aggregators by the WAV Group, click here