Archive for the ‘California’ Category

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,

“Off Market” Transactions Are The New Black

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

We set out to create a community where agents could share off market listings and buyer needs (privately or publicly), and a site that will give buyers and sellers an alternative to their local MLSs. We knew a long time ago that there is more opportunity out there than MLS will allow, and that the way the current system is run is not entirely broken, but getting pretty darn close.

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 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.

Perhaps the very location that is changing the world with their technology (Silicon Valley) should be a lesson in what we have in store:

Gautam Nadella, who works in management at Cisco Systems, Inc., said he and his wife bought their five-bedroom Menlo Park home before it went back on the market, after their agent told them it would be available.

There is something to be said of taking uncertainty out of the selling process and the buying process,” Nadella said. “We were able to move quickly, calmly, with 100 percent confidence that the deal would get done, and as a result we did not have to go through the bidding process.”

We aren’t simply creating an environment to share “off market” real estate, we’re creating an alternative to the current system. Don’t fight technology and advances in our industry. Embrace, encourage, and promote change. You will do more deals. You will have more happy clients.

In Silicon Valley Real Estate Frenzy, Off Market Transactions Are Frequent [Bay Citizen]

Cracking The Code Of The Bohemian Grove…Or Maybe Something Else?

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Since Halloween is just around the corner and everywhere you go are ghouls, goblins, creeps, creatures of the night, witches, wizards, drunk college kids, and of course happy little children scrambling around to get as much candy as they possibly can, we thought we’d share a bit of mystery, and intrigue with all of you.

Recently listed for sale on is a single family home in the East Bay built by one of the regions most famous Architects. The property is listed for $10,000,000, has six bedrooms, and because the listing agent has chosen not to share the description of the property publicly, that’s all we can share with you here. But we can say, it’s kind of a big deal.

Membership certainly has its privileges.

Single family home in the East Bay, $10,000,000 []

Got Estate? Want Estate? Wine Estate? We Got It Mate!

October 20, 2011 1 comment

“Your breath is taken away as you enter the gated grounds through vineyards, pastures, and forests of oak, madrone and bay trees.”

And the pool! The olive trees! The serenity…and proximity to all the great wines of Napa Valley. Yes please, we’ll take two.

You won’t find this on MLS. Too much publicity and drama there. You’ll find it on…an MLS alternative.

St. Helena Pocket Listing Now with Pics, $16,950,000 And Co-Founder Alexander Clark Featured In “Top Agent Magazine”

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Our co-founder and service featured in Top Agent Magazine’s Nationwide, Los Angeles, New York City, and Ventura/Santa Barbara editions.

Closer Connections
A new idea in real estate is eliminating barriers and erasing geographic lines

Top Agent Magazine Feature Article