Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

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.



Is Spring really the best time to sell your home?

December 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Monthly Home Sales 2000-2011 Infographic Provided by

I’ve been advocating for listing your property for sale during the typical doldrums for years, and occasionally a few brave souls take the plunge. Have a look at this image below and the data used to arrive at the conclusion next time you think it’s best to wait til Spring or Summer.

Why should you list your home right now and not wait until everyone else? It’s simple: Supply and Demand. The buyers are still out there, but the homes for sale are not. So when a good one comes up, it’s like chum in a pool of great whites.

As an example, I was at two open houses Sunday with a client, one at 468 Noe, the other at 442-444 Noe. It looked like a holiday block party, or a daytime Halloween Trick or Treat extravaganza. It was a madhouse! So many buyers…serious buyers…walking in and out of those homes. When I hold my own open houses I usually have to stay at the front door and greet visitors. At these open houses I was able to walk around and hear the conversations. Real conversations about what it will take to “win” it. How will their financing stack up against a potential cash buyer. They could “live with the kitchen”, or “we’re definitely going to remodel”. It’s the same with just about every other good house, priced right, in a good location. San Francisco simply has more buyers than good, quality, property for sale, and so I say again…it’s a great time to sell.

Buyers are out there. Don’t wait until your competition lists their home for sale.

Categories: Real Estate, Seller

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 Why? On 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


The MLS syndication movement continues; large New York brokerage stops syndicating to Trulia & Zillow

November 26, 2012 Leave a comment

In January, a San Diego-based ARG Abbott Realty Group took a very public stance in its decision to immediately stop syndicating listings to third-party websites — including Zillow, Trulia, and — with Jim Abbott, the company president and managing broker, explaining the decision by his 25-agent firm in a YouTube video.

The company’s action echoes a similar move announced in November ’11 by Edina, Minn.-based Home Services of America subsidiary Edina Realty Inc., a brokerage company with about 2,100 sales associates and 60 offices.

Now, a big New York-based brokerage is the latest to stop syndicating listings to Zillow and Trulia, claiming the sites do a disservice to homebuyers and sellers by serving up stale data, and that their platforms are not worthwhile advertising outlets for the company.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Nothnagle Realtors closed 8,070 transaction sides last year and, by that measure, was the 37th-largest U.S. brokerage, according to rankings compiled by Real Trends Inc.

Nothnagle Realtors President and CEO Armand D’Alfonso said complaints from buyers and sellers about listing inaccuracies on sites like Zillow and Trulia were one of the main reasons the brokerage decided to withhold listings it represents from the portals.

D’Alfonso also said the brokerage doesn’t want “to pay to direct traffic away from our site.” Some third-party sites, including Zillow and Trulia, sell ad space to agents with competing brokerages that appear next to listings that aren’t “claimed” by agents or “enhanced” by the agent or brokerage representing the listing.

A recent study sponsored by technology-focused brokerage Redfin found more than one-third of agent-represented listings on Trulia and Zillow were no longer for sale. The study, published last month, found the sites also lacked data for about one-fifth of properties that were listed for sale in an MLS (Realtor. com, thanks to its ties to the National Association of Realtors, gets listings directly from MLSs, and has not been a target of complaints about listing accuracy).


The Most Expensive Home On The U.S. Market Is “Off The Market.”

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

While reading one of the many real estate blogs that now cover pocket listings, I came across one featuring the most expensive home in the U.S. If you Google “most expensive home for sale in the U.S.” it doesn’t show up anywhere, as it’s still considered “off-the-market” or not in MLS (Multiple Listing Service). But this over-the-top piece of real estate is very much on the market and here are the deets:

“The colossal, hilltop contemporary compound in the hills of Bel Air that Robb Report named as their Ultimate Home in 2011 is very quietly being shopped around with a price tag $150,000,000 price tag. A Montecito, CA-based real estate broker well known in real estate circles to work with a very well-heeled clientele. The current owner—is a Saudi prince or another—purchased the property back in November 1993 though a corporate entity for $1,875,000 from legendary pop music composer and producer Burt Bacharach.”

The village-like residence—an interconnected collection of structures designed by Richard Landry and composed mostly of glass, steel, smooth stucco and rough-cut sandstone—sits high and tight on just over 1.5 acres and surrounds a fully-enclosed, piazza-like central motor court. Combined, the civic center-sized behemoth measures in at around 40,000 square feet and contains a staggering number of bedrooms—28! A few of the interior features include: numerous rooms for formal and informal entertaining; a zebra wood lined library; a home theater and separate recording studio; and a mini-mansion sized master suite with dual dressing areas and at least one bathroom sheathed almost entirely in white onyx; a complete spa facility with gym and private massage rooms.

Outdoor amenities include: a roof terrace with views from downtown to the Pacific Ocean; a deep and heated loggia for comfortable outdoor living even on cool winter evenings; a resort style negative edge swimming pool with tanning shelf; terraced fruit orchards. Below the pool there’s a titanic terrace with outdoor kitchen and sand stone fireplace perched atop a roomy recreation room outfitted with media lounge area, billiards table and a built-in leather-clad bar.

If $150,000,000 is out of your price range (darn!), check back with us weekly for our featured “Pocket Listing of Week.” Have a pocket listing you’d like to submit? Email us at: Or join and share it with our fast growing network of buyers, sellers and real estate professionals!

Source: RealEstalker

Your Pocket Listings Questions, Answered.

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

You have a question about pocket listings? We’ll do our best to answer it!

Q:  I saw a foreclosure ad for a property, only after an offer was accepted . I never saw any ads including a listing anywhere on any site or on foreclosures sites. This house had an accepted offer in 2 days. Can agents do that?

A:   Agents can sell a bank owned property (REO or foreclosures) as a pocket listing; as long as they get the bank the price they want, they can use multiple channels or methods to sell it. When there is a “good deal” in hot markets buyers will submit offers without even seeing homes in many cases.

Q:  Are pocket listings legal?

A:   A listing gets the name “pocket listing” or “pocket deal,” as well as an “off-MLS listing” because the broker figuratively keeps the property in his or her pocket and does not list it for sale on the multiple listing service (MLS). A broker has a fiduciary duty to make sure he or she sells a home for the best price, no matter how the broker lists the home.

“Much marketing is done via email, word-of-mouth, phone calls to shoppers in the price range. Sometimes they do web sites for them and create virtual tours. It’s just not on the MLS,” said Brenda Miller a real estate agent with Alain Pinel Realtors in Saratoga. “In Silicon Valley, this is happening in the northern area, the 650 area code (the stomping ground of technology-made multi-billionaires), more than in the 408 area code,” said Miller.

Q: Why are pocket listings becoming more popular with sellers?

A: There are sellers who have been interested in selling but aren’t comfortable with current home values. These sellers may sit on the sidelines and will only sell if they can get the price they want. Additionally, as soon as a home is listed in the MLS, the infamous “days on market” clock starts ticking. The longer your home sits on the market, the more “stale” it becomes and the less money you’re likely to be offered. Buyers, seeing that a home has been for sale for 30 or 60 days or even longer, will inevitably make low-ball offers. And so, instead of going on the market, a seller who wants a certain price may engage their real estate professional and put the listing out there as a “pocket” listing.

Q: Are pocket listings a trend or here to stay?

A: In some markets, there are entire websites devoted to pocket listings or networking opportunities with other agents about upcoming listings and properties. What started as a way to get the word out about future listings has turned into a secondary market of homes for sale for well-connected real estate agents.

Source:, Fox News,