WSJ: Boston real estate and pocket listings
The Journal touched on pocket listings yesterday – excerpts:
Real-estate agents are selling more homes to select customers while bypassing the public market, a move that squeezes supply tighter for many buyers when inventory is already near record lows.
In the vast majority of transactions, an agent lists a home for sale on a local database and markets the property widely to drum up interest and get the best price. But in certain cases, a broker will show an unlisted property to a small circle of potential buyers more exclusively, often in hope of getting a deal done quickly.
These private sales are known as pocket listings, or whisper listings. They have been around for many years. But they are on the rise now even though the National Association of Realtors adopted a rule last year aimed at discouraging their use following complaints from some of its members.
Pocket listings persist in part because they benefit big brokerages, which can shop listings in-house and advertise to potential clients that they have properties that aren’t available anywhere else.
On brokerage Compass Inc.’s website, a search for active listings or those coming soon in San Francisco pulled up 1,320 online listings as of midday Tuesday. The website also said 105 listings in the city weren’t publicly available but were available through a Compass agent.
A Compass spokesman declined to comment.
Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line
I’m not a big fan of pocket listings. Why? Because in 2021 every seller and listing agent wants to go on the open market to see if they can get bid up. They’ve heard the stories of sales going for hundreds of thousands over list, and they want their chance at glory.