If you’re planning on selling your home this spring, you may consider getting a jump start on the market and have a low-stress “pocket listing” now.
What’s a pocket listing?
A pocket listing is an informal exclusive agreement (sometimes even without a contract) a seller has with one broker to show and sell his or her property for any time period the seller likes. The property is not listed in the MLS (multiple service listing), so no other brokers or real estate firms are aware of it unless notified. The address is often not shown on the listing broker’s website, nor photos; just a description and price may be found. Interested parties have to contact the broker for more details.
Often, the listing broker is working with buyers who view the property. Additionally, in our small and connected town, experienced brokers have a professional network with other real estate firms, and know the types of buyers they represent. The broker with a pocket listing will reach out to these firms to see if they have clients looking for such a property. If it seems like homes in Boulder County change hands without you ever knowing they were for sale, it’s because that’s the case. Because of the demand in our area many properties are sold without ever being formally put up for sale, especially those in popular neighborhoods or unique properties that are in demand (such as small farms).
The benefits of pocket listings
Pocket listings are an excellent way to dip your toes into the market instead of diving full in. There are no signs in the front yard, noisy neighbors asking questions or hordes of people constantly coming though your home. Basically, it’s low stress and low impact. It’s a great way to test the waters and see what interest you can generate, or if you can get an easy offer. It also gives you direct and quick feedback about your property – a kind of focus group – that you can use to make changes before putting your house formally on the market. As pocket listings are viewed as very informal, buyers have different expectations in terms of the condition of your home: You can actively be preparing it for your spring sale by de-cluttering, painting, etc. Plus, pocket listings are often looked at as “exclusive” by potential buyers which adds to their appeal.
Now is a great time to have a pocket listing
Spring is traditionally the most active period of the year for both selling and buying property, with March historically the busiest online search month. By having a pocket list now, you’re basically the first one on the market and beat the upcoming competition. Listing your home via pocket listing is also an excellent way to motivate you and household members to get your property ready for sale – no small task especially in the middle of winter! This process always takes longer than people think, so again you will be ahead of the market.
By Karen Libin. Karen is the owner and managing broker of KL Realty, and has more than 29 years of experience in the Boulder County real estate market. Contact Karen at KL Realty, call 303.444.3177, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit klrealty.net.