There are several different marketing strategies used to sell houses. The majority of the time, it is recommended to list your house on the MLS. This allows your house to be visible to other agents and many buyers through online platforms. Typically the more people that are able to see your house, the better the chance you have of the right buyer finding your house.
However, there are times when the real estate agent will recommend keeping your house off of the MLS as a pocket listing. This means that your house is not visible to the general public or to all other homeowners. The agent carefully selects which buyers to share the listing with.
In the past this was a popular option for homeowners that wanted to maintain privacy while trying to sell their house. However, many things have changed about MLS listings, and letting your property be a pocket listing might not be the best decision for your property now.
If considering pocket listings for your properties, understand the following changes and how they relate to your situation:
MLS listings now have many options to help maintain the privacy of the owner during the listing process. General descriptions can be included with the price as well as a photo that shows a view from the house, instead of the house itself. The address and owner can be kept private as well.
Any interested buyers would have to go through the real estate agent. They would have to be pre-qualified and screened before gaining additional access about the house. This assures that only serious buyers have access.
Another reason that homeowners used to prefer pocket listings is that they didn’t want to spend day after day leaving their house to allow showings for potential buyers. They preferred to tell their real estate agent a price to sell it for and limit the amount of people that had access.
Sellers still have the ability to limit the amount of showings when the house is listed on the MLS. Home sellers can set limits on how many showings are allowed each week, or what hours or days showing are allowed on.
However, you do want to be careful when limiting the buyers’ ability to view your house since it could risk them moving on from it altogether.
There are homeowners who in the past would avoid the MLS because they did not want a public record if there house should fail to reach closing. Owners are leery of creating a situation where their house is listed in the future and shows as a property that was unsellable in the past.
However, rarely is this a problem. Listing a house on the MLS allows it to reach the eyes of the most majority of buyers. The more buyers see your house, the more likely you are to find the one that is willing to buy it.
Pocket listings can be a wise choice for people who are famous, or well known in their community. Well-known people do not want to waste their time with fans who are viewing their home purely out of curiosity.
If this is not you, listing on the MLS is most likely your best option.