A pocket listing is an industry term which denotes a property where a broker holds a signed contract with the seller, but where it is never advertised nor entered into the MLS or where advertising is limited for an agreed-upon period of time.
Why do we have them? Perhaps the property is not ready to go on the market (paint, repairs, timing…) or the owner is not open to various strangers walking through their homes. It may be a pocket for secrecey (celebrity?) or maybe the family is going through personal issues (illness, divorce, neighbor dispute, refinance). Pocket listings can be very appealing to buyers who seek exclusive opportunities. An L.A. Loft Blog reports that up to 45% of transactions in Downtown Los Angeles since 2011 have been off-market, private listings such as pocket listings.
I find the better the agent is and the longer they have been in business, the more ‘pockets” they will have or know about. As long as the agent is ACTIVE and has a good reputation, other agents are willng to share secret information. I keep a running list on my desk so when a client’s need comes up, I can check my list. I also have a huge referral network through social media where we share pockets. Contact me if you want my current list or have a special need!