Pocket listing vs MLS?


You want to be a proactive seller and learn what you can BEFORE your house hits the market for sale, right? You’ll probably do some research and learn a few insider tips and tricks to getting a full-price offer quickly. That’s great! It shows you care. Here are 3 other things you’ll want to do in preparation:

1. Read up on staging and make sure you look at pictures! If you can, try to find the before-and-after photos. Stage your home to appeal to buyers. They look at pictures online and if they aren’t compelling, won’t schedule a look in person. Choose an agent who delivers great photos.

2. Talk it up! As soon as your house goes into the MLS, I’ll give you a link to your listing to post on your Facebook page, then tweet about it, and pics to fill up your instagram. You just never know who will see it and think it’s drop-dead gorgeous. The more people you tell, the better it is for you.

3. Find the sweet spot and price it correctly. Try to be objective when looking over the “comps.” Many sellers mistakenly assume they should push as high as possible (or as high as an unscrupulous agent will encourage) when setting an asking price for the house. Doing that will most likely come back to haunt you months down the road when it’s getting no showings, and buyers are convinced there’s something wrong with it. You get one chance to make a first impression – don’t waste it! Your goal should be to find market value and then go just a bit above that.


Don’t get into somebody’s pocket! When agents press sellers to sign an exclusive “pocket listing” this is what usually happens:

AGENT says: My company and I will locate a buyer for you without putting it into the MLS. If you agree, Mr. or Mrs. Seller, we’ll give you a little discount on the broker fee.
SELLER thinks it sounds good to get a discount and happily agrees without knowing what the drawbacks are.

Think about it: Why would they offer you that discount? It’s because they will keep the entire commission, which would have to be split if another company brings the buyer. So, the agent and company both make more money.

But, what are the drawbacks to you? First, by keeping it off the MLS, you have one listing agent trying hard to sell it, compared with having 500+ agents in Erie County trying to show it to their buyers when it’s in the MLS. Your house would automatically be emailed to every buyer with a search set up by those 500+ agents! Drawback #2: Let’s say you do get an acceptable offer. You will never know if it’s the highest amount possible because you didn’t expose it to the whole market. Buyers competing for your house is what keeps prices up and sells homes more quickly. Drawback #3 You’ll probably find an even better agent who would be willing to charge you the same discounted rate if you ask her … and you’ll get better results.

Exposing your property to the highest number of buyers in the first few weeks of the listing period is a HUGE advantage! Don’t give that away.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhoto.