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1 min read May 04, 2023

Pocket Listing: How is it Different Than MLS?

If you are about to sell your house, you might need the assistance of a real estate agent. An experienced agent will bring expertise, give you the ability to list on MLS, and even help you negotiate offers and navigate closing.

But if you want to attract only a specific pool of potential buyers, a Pocket Listing might seem perfect. However, Pocket Listing might hinder the exposure of your property.

In this blog, we’ll explore Pocket Listing in detail, including its benefits and drawbacks.

Are Pocket Listings Better?

  • Homes sold for around 17% more when marketed and listed on the MLS in comparison to Pocket Listings.
  • Pocket Listings are off-market properties ready for sale.
  • The property is not listed on the MLS, but is marketed privately by real estate agents.
  • Pocket listings affect the efficiency of the real estate market by limiting competition and transparency on a listing.

What is a Pocket Listing?

A Pocket Listing is an off-market real estate property ready for sale. Pocket Listings are private properties that are not available on MLS or other real estate listing platforms. 

Real estate agents market Pocket Listings in private to a select group of potential buyers. Pocket Listings are very useful for sellers and agents who value privacy and exclusivity.

How Pocket Listings Work?

Pocket Listings work by giving you and the listing agent more control over the marketing and exposure of the property. 

Due to the property not being on the MLS or other real estate websites, is not visible to general buyers. The agent may contact their network of buyers or other agents to generate interest in the property.

The process of a pocket listing typically starts with you working with a real estate agent. The agent determines the price and marketing strategy for the property. 

Pocket Listing vs. Multiple Listing

There are two different approaches to marketing a property in the real estate industry: Pocket Listings and Multiple Listings 

  • Pocket Listings: Pocket Listing is an exclusive, off-market property that is not available on the MLS. Real estate agents market Pocket Listings in private.
  • Multiple Listings: Multiple Listings are properties listed on the MLS and other real estate listing platforms. It is available for public viewing by potential buyers and other agents. It offers a wider reach and exposure to your property listing.

Pros and Cons of Pocket Listings

As a seller, you must carefully weigh the pros and cons before opting for Pocket Listings

👍 Pros

  • Your Listing Remains Private: Pocket Listings provide you with a level of privacy that you aren’t able to achieve with a traditional listing. Your property remains private as it is not listed on the MLS. You also don’t attract unwanted attention or unnecessary inquiries.
  • Faster Sales of Your Property: Real estate agents market Pocket Listings only to a smaller pool of buyers. These buyers are generally actively looking for a property. This can result in a quicker transaction and less time spent on the market.

👎 Cons

  • Limited Exposure to Your Listing: Pocket Listings can limit exposure to your property listing by not being on MLS. Many potential buyers may not be able to see your listing, which can result in a lower sale price.
  • Reduced Competition: Pocket Listings can reduce competition amongst buyers due to limited exposure. It can result in a lower sale price for your listing. 

Yes, Pocket listings are legal in most parts of the United States. However, there are certain rules and regulations that real estate agents must follow when using Pocket Listings as a marketing strategy.

Real estate brokers must list a property on the MLS within a fixed period after signing a Listing Agreement. It is called “brokerage duty to market”. It ensures your property is well-advertised and available to potential buyers.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has also established a “Clear Cooperation Policy“. It requires real estate agents to submit all listings to the MLS within 24 hours of marketing their property to the public.

How To Find Pocket Listings as a Buyer

You might find Pocket Listings difficult to locate as compared to properties listed on the MLS. However, you and buyer agents can use different strategies to uncover Pocket Listings:

  • Work with a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent: The best way to find Pocket Listings is to work with a well-connected real estate agent. He must have a strong network and relationships with other agents in the area. 
  • Attend Open Houses and Networking Events: Attending open houses and networking events can be a great way to meet other real estate agents. You might learn about Pocket Listings that are not yet on the market.
  • Use Social Media and Online Networks: Social media platforms can be a great way to connect with other agents. Join real estate groups and forums online to network with other industry professionals.
  • Contact Property Owners Directly: You and your associated buyer agent can contact property owners directly to inquire about the possibility of a Pocket Listing. This approach can be particularly effective if you are looking for a specific condo, a single-family home, or a multi-family home.

Act quickly if you are interested in Pocket Listings. You can increase your chances of finding the right property by working with an experienced agent.

Should I Sell My House via Pocket Listings?

Selling a house via a Pocket Listing maintains privacy and exclusivity. If you don’t want to advertise your home to the general public or deal with open houses, a Pocket Listing may be a good option. 

Additionally, unique homes with a specific buyer pool attracts more qualified buyers via Pocket Listings. But property not listed on the MLS may not get the same level of exposure as a publicly listed home. 

It’s important to consider all your options before making a decision. A Multiple Listing Service provides a great alternative to Pocket Listings.

With a flat fee MLS like Houzeo, you can list your house yourself with ease.

With Houzeo, you also skip paying the listing agent commission. Instead, you pay a one-time, small flat fee to list your house on the MLS.

Check out the difference between Pocket Listing and MLS in our video:


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» Houzeo Reviews: See how Houzeo home sellers save thousands with Houzeo technology and MLS exposure.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Pocket Listing in real estate?

A Pocket Listing is an off-market real estate property ready for sale. Pocket Listings are private properties that are not available on MLS or other real estate listing platforms.

2. Are Pocket Listings legal in the US?

Yes, Pocket Listings are legal throughout the US. Even though it is prohibited by NAR for its member agents to practice, Pocket Listings are still lawful.

3. How to market a Pocket Listing?

You can market a Pocket Listing through different mediums. You can use your agent's private networks, social media, email lists, and other targeted marketing techniques to reach potential buyers. Work with a trusted real estate agent who has experience in selling Pocket Listings for guidance and support.
Click here to check out How Pocket Listings are Different Than the MLS.

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