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Selling a House

Pocket Listings: The Pros & Cons

Once you have decided to sell your home, take under consideration all your listing options. Pocket listings just might be the one for you.

Great, you’ve decided to sell your home! Most sellers may be thinking that they obviously want maximum exposure, but a pocket listing may be more your fancy.

What is a Pocket Listing?

When it is time to sell your home, you have the option of going the traditional route and listing it on the multiple listing service (MLS), or having it be a pocket listing. When a house is under a pocket listing it can not be found on the MLS. Pocket listings offer extreme privacy that is appealing to many different types of people. Most commonly, celebrities, politicians, judges, or people who do not want their private life public will decide a pocket listing is best for them, but truly anyone can use this method to sell a home.

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If you were using a pocket listing, there would be no photos of your house online, or any showings you would have to plan for. You would simply give your agent a price you intended to get for your home, and they would only contact and pursue buyers with the ability to meet that price. The same situation would apply if you have a particularly unique home, not necessarily an expensive one. Regardless of the reason, if you have chosen to use a pocket listing, your agent would only contact other agents and buyers that are looking for a home specifically like the one you are selling.


Pocket listings offer many attractive advantages that give you more control over the process of selling your home. A few of these pleasing elements include:


Pocket listings are handled with utmost discretion. There will be no “for sale” sign in your front yard, and no one will be wandering through your hallways critiquing your home. Frankly, very few people will even know you are selling your home.

More control over price

Having a pocket listing allows you to only entertain offers that meet a certain price. If you are not in any hurry to sell, the buyer will most likely have to meet the asking price.

Spend less time on the MLS

Unfortunately,  sometimes when homes spend an extended period of time on the MLS buyers assume there is something wrong with the property.  They assume there is a reason it hasn’t sold yet.  Using a pocket listing is a way to avoid this situation. The option is also available to start as a pocket listing, and then once you get an idea of what your home could sell for and are ready to jump into the process, then list your home on the MLS.


If pocket listings prevent you from having to drive around the block twenty times while your home is being shown why doesn’t everyone do it? Well, while there are obvious advantages, there are some substantial disadvantages.

Less competition for your home

Since your house is not being listed on the MLS, and only select people are being told your property is being sold, it is unlikely that people will get in a bidding war over your home. Your home will get significantly less exposure than if it were traditionally listed. Meaning that you could potentially lose the opportunity to find a buyer, or buyers, who are willing to pay more than you are asking for your home.

Potentially a lower price for your home

Your home will not be put on the market so you will never know what the true market value of your home is. As previously mentioned, there is little to no competition for your home with so few buyers involved. Due to this, and your willingness to wait for the right buyer, you will more than likely get your asking price for the home. Although, in the free market your home could be worth more than you originally thought. This is a gamble you take with pocket listings.

Could take longer to sell your home

Finding the right buyer for your home can take quite a bit of time. Pocket listings are essentially looking for that perfect buyer, and it often takes a while for that person to come around. Be patient though, the right buyer is out there, it may just take them some time to find you.

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Is a Pocket Listing Right for You?

Pocket listings are able to offer more privacy and take some of the hassle out of selling a home. While these are appealing qualities, it is still a widely held belief that the best way to get the highest price for your home is to list it on the MLS. The increase in exposure that allows for a pool of interested buyers to compete for your home is the most effective way for you to take away as much money as possible from your sale. The decision is up to you though. Take the time to evaluate the pros and cons. If the pros outweigh the cons, then you may have just found an non-traditional way to sell your home.

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