Orlando Real Estate, Orlando Buyers Agent, Orlando Homes, Orlando Buyers Broker: Pocket Listings; the down and dirty

Pocket Listings; the down and dirty


greedy agent

"Pocket listing" means that a home is not listed in the multiple listing service (MLS) but is instead marketed directly by the broker — it is in that person's "pocket". In many cases there is not even a written agreement, but just a loosey goosey  verbal agreement.  The pocket listing is like a secret FSBO.


As an Exclusive Buyers Agent I never list any property, so I don't really care who has the MLS listings or the pocket un-listings.

The main reason pocket listings irritate me is because I don't like half truths.


So, here is the whole truth and nothing but the truth about pocket listings. Lets peel back the phoney layers, and expose the down and dirty about pocket listings...



1.  A pocket listing only benefits one person...the broker that is trying to get both ends of the commission and put more money in their own pocket.  Most of the time, they do not even want another agent to even know about it.  Lets face it, greed is powerful and money makes good people think poorly.  There is no benefit to the seller who will have less buyers looking at the property and less buyers fighting to put an offer on it.


2.  Seller will NOT get top dollar, regardless of the baloney that the agent claims.  Since this is a secret listing, it will not drive multiple buyers to compete for the property.  How many buyers can this ONE agent really bring?  a handful? How many buyers will putting it in the MLS bring? dozens?


If open and broad advertising really does not bring more buyers, why would any listing agents spend money on advertising?


3.  Agents that spend time promoting a "pocket listing" could be breeching their fiduciary obligation to their listed seller clients. 


Think of this:  A regular seller lists his property with an agent who promises to sell the property quickly for top dollar.  Agent brags about all the marketing they will do to promote their property and get the highest price. This is a fiduciary relationship where the seller puts the agreement in writing and gives the agent exclusive rights to sell the property and the agent in turn promises total loyalty...


So instead, the agent is trying to sell a "pocket" listing, before someone else does.




If the seller learns that the agent is out promoting some pocket listing down the street, instead of pushing their property as promised, the listed seller may feel betrayed. 


The seller could have grounds to cancel his written listing agreement due to the brokers breech of trust.  Yes, that may be a stretch, but stranger things have happened... 


At minimum, the agent needs to turn their full attention to the sellers that they committed to legally. Committed seller clients should be priority.


Last but not least...


Sellers that agree to a pocket listing are blinded by a lie.  They are snowed by the thought that some super agent is going to sell the property all by themselves (with their limited contacts) for top dollar...

If you believe that, call me...I know of some swampland for sale in Florida.

For expert Buyer Representation (without any swamp land), call Buyers Broker of Florida 407-539-1053


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Representing ONLY the best interest of the Home Buyer...never the seller.

 Eve Alexander Orlando Buyers Agent


Comment balloon 8 commentsEve Alexander • June 17 2014 03:52PM


My experience with so called "pocket listing" sellers is they are not really serious sellers.  If they were they would hire a professional to maximize the marketing efforts (and results).

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Research shows pocket or off-market listings net an average of 13% less than properties on the Multiple Listing Service. Moreover, it's IMPOSSIBLE to know if one got TOP DOLLAR unless it was exposed to the entire marketplace. Sellers are being DUPED by agents and brokers. Pocket listings were designed for celebrities and high profile executives of public companies - the people today selling their homes off-market are allowing agents/brokers and buyers to PICK THEIR POCKETS.


Posted by Shelly Roberson about 5 years ago


Gary:  I agree that a professional is always the best choice.

Shelly:  13% less...interesting. Excellent blog you wrote and I have added yours at the bottom.

Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) about 5 years ago

And this is the type of warning SELLERS need to hear.  The fact that you are Buyers Broker of Florida, and don't even take listings or represent the sellers, your post let's sellers know how they are being manipulated.  

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 5 years ago

In defense of our brethen agents, brokers in the same industry, the seller that won't list. Ever. You can point a finger and accuse the agent of under the table, shady. But he is in the same industry. He has a seller who says bring me a buyer, but not going to sign anything. Get those dotted line listing paperwork gobbity goop out of my face. Put that parchment away. Don't care about MLS, what you need to start, crank up the marketing band to be playing loudly.

It happens and you chose to roll the dice, take a chance or not.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 5 years ago

Carla:  Sellers want to believe in fairy tales...

Andrew:  I seriously don't get it. Why waste time on a "maybe", when you have committed sellers that you should be promoting.  That is like me wasting my time on a buyer that won't commit...why should I?  Just in case I happen to show them the right house? I only stay loyal to the buyers that commit.

Posted by Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) about 5 years ago

Eve, pocket listings do not help the Seller, and would lay money they never get top dollar if it was put out on the open market. 

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 5 years ago

I agree pocket listings only benefit the selling agent not the Seller! Let the world know your home is for sale and the Buyers will flock to your door bringing the best of offers!


Posted by MaryBeth Mills Muldowney, Massachusetts Broker Owner (TradeWinds Realty Group LLC) almost 5 years ago