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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Real Estate: Pocket Listings in a Tight Market

by Calculated Risk on 6/23/2013 06:10:00 PM

From Alejandro Lazo at the LA Times: Motivated home buyers skip the bidding wars

[A]gents like Mathys are resorting to reconnaissance and back-channel networks to find homes that haven't yet hit the market. They're cold-calling homeowners with offers and targeting specific neighborhoods with direct mail. Some come bearing bizarre gifts in return for a listing. One agent offered a seller the use of his exotic car; one of his clients offered free dogs.

And they're chasing so-called pocket listings, homes privately marketed among those in the know. The low-profile nature of the listings makes them hard to quantify. But agents and other real estate experts say they've become common in the booming Southland market, where the median home price shot up nearly 25% in the last year.

Mathys — a 10-year veteran who, with his partner Tracie Kersten, specializes in high-end San Diego properties — said he'd never before seen the market this tight or felt the need to get this creative.
emphasis added
Pocket listings (kept in the agent's "pocket") are always popular with agents in a tight market. This way the agent can get both sides of the commission (or share with someone in their office - or an agent they know who will return the favor).   Other agents and buyers hate pocket listings because they never get a chance at buying the property - and it is usually best for the seller to actually have the property listed and see other offers.