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What is a Pocket Listing?

Pocket Listing

Good day, esteemed members of the real estate community. Today, we will be addressing a topic that has been generating significant interest within the industry: What is a pocket listing in real estate?

Simply put, a pocket listing is a property for sale but not publicly listed on any multiple listing service (MLS) or online platform. It’s like a hidden gem, only available to a select group of people in the know.

Now, why is it important to know about pocket listings? Well, pocket listings can offer many advantages for both buyers and sellers. For sellers, pocket listings can provide privacy and exclusivity, leading to faster sales. 

For buyers, pocket listings offer the chance to find properties that aren’t available to the general public, which can be a huge advantage in a competitive market.

So, in this article, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of pocket listings in real estate. We’ll cover everything from how they work to the advantages and disadvantages of using them and even share some tips on handling them like a pro.

So, grab your favorite beverage, get comfy, and let’s become experts on what is a pocket listing in real estate!

Explanation of Pocket Listing

What is Pocket Listing?

A pocket listing is a property not publicly advertised on any multiple listing service (MLS) or online platform. Instead, the listing agent keeps it in their “pocket” and shares it only with a select group of potential buyers.

How Pocket Listings Work?

Pocket listings typically start with a seller hiring a listing agent, who then markets the property privately to their network of contacts rather than listing it publicly. 

This can include other agents in the same brokerage, previous clients, or even friends and family. If the agent finds an interested buyer, they negotiate the terms of the sale privately, without involving any other agents or the public.

Advantages and disadvantages of pocket listings

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using pocket listings.


  • Privacy and exclusivity for the seller
  • Faster sale, as the agent, can immediately market the property to a select group of interested buyers
  • Reduced competition, as the property isn’t publicly listed


  • Limited exposure to potential buyers
  • Potential for conflicts of interest, as both buyer and seller, might be represented by the same agent.
  • Potential for lower sale price, as there’s less competition and less chance for a bidding war

Factors to Consider Before Using a Pocket Listing

There are some key factors that all sellers and buyers should keep in mind before using a pocket listing. These are:

  1. Limited exposure: A pocket listing limits the property’s exposure to potential buyers, which can result in a lower sale price.
  2. Conflicts of interest: Using a pocket listing can lead to conflicts of interest if the listing agent represents both the seller and the buyer.
  3. Legal implications: It’s essential to consider the legal consequences of using a pocket listing, as some states have specific regulations regarding how properties can be marketed and sold.

How to Handle Real Estate Pocket Listings

The process of handling pocket listings involves a number of steps, from determining if a pocket listing is the best option for the property to closing the sale and collecting the commission. 

  1. Determine if a pocket listing is the best option for the property.
  2. Obtain written consent from the seller to market the property as a pocket listing.
  3. Create a marketing plan for the property that targets potential buyers.
  4. Use discretion when promoting the pocket listing to other agents.
  5. Screen potential buyers to ensure they meet the seller’s criteria.
  6. Negotiate the terms of the sale with the buyer and seller.
  7. Close the sale and collect the commission.

By following these steps, agents can effectively handle pocket listings and achieve successful sales for their clients.

Tips for Managing Successful Pocket Listings

  • Be transparent with potential buyers. 

While discretion is important in promoting pocket listings, it’s also important to be transparent with potential buyers about the nature of the listing and the fact that it may not be widely advertised. This can help develop trust and prevent misunderstandings.

  • Keep the seller informed

 It’s important to keep the seller informed about the status of the pocket listing and any interest that is generated. This can help ensure that the seller feels involved in the process and can make informed decisions about how to proceed.

  • Use targeted marketing

Since pocket listings are not advertised much, it’s important to use targeted marketing to reach potential buyers. This might include reaching out to contacts in your network or using social media to promote the listing to a targeted audience.

  • Maintain confidentiality

It’s vital to maintain confidentiality throughout the process of handling a pocket listing. This means being discreet when promoting the property and avoiding any actions that could compromise the privacy of the seller or the property.

Legal Considerations for Pocket Listings

When it comes to pocket listings in real estate, there are several legal considerations that agents and sellers should be aware of. Here are some essential points to keep in mind:

  • Compliance with State and Local Laws: Some states and jurisdictions have specific regulations regarding how properties can be marketed and sold. Understanding and complying with these laws is essential to avoid potential legal issues.
  • Duty of Fairness: Real estate agents have a legal duty to act in their client’s best interests and to treat all parties fairly. When using a pocket listing, agents must avoid conflicts of interest and ensure that all potential buyers are considered equally.
  • Disclosures: Sellers and agents are legally obligated to disclose any known material defects or issues with a property. This includes defects that may impact the value or desirability of the property, such as foundation issues or environmental hazards.
  • Commission and Fees: Agents must be transparent about their commission and fees when using a pocket listing. This includes disclosing any additional fees or charges associated with the transaction.

Overall, it’s crucial for agents and sellers to consult with a real estate attorney and to stay up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations regarding pocket listings in their area. By doing so, they can avoid legal issues and ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

To Sum Up

Pocket listings are a unique real estate approach with advantages and disadvantages. Understanding what a pocket listing is and how it works can be incredibly valuable for buyers and sellers in the real estate market. 

While pocket listings can be beneficial in certain situations, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks and legal implications before using this strategy.

Overall, pocket listings can be a powerful tool for real estate professionals, but they should be approached with caution and a thorough understanding of the process. 

We hope this article has shed some light on what a pocket listing is and how it works in real estate. If you have any thoughts or experiences with pocket listings that you’d like to share, please leave a comment below!

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Last modified: February 24, 2023