Pocket Listings in the Era of Zillow

New York

The domestic market for luxury real estate is more transparent than it’s ever been. Part of the reason for this transparency is that the game permanently changed when Zillow became the go-to data resource for buyers. Thanks to Zillow, a home’s transaction history is now a matter of permanent public record, so everyone can see the number of days a property has been on the market. To sidestep this potential liability, more and more agents are pitching the value of pocket listings to their sellers.

Pocket listings do have some benefits: High-net-worth sellers often prefer to avoid the multiple listing services (MLS), because such sellers place great value on their privacy. They don’t necessarily want their real estate transactions publicized, and open houses can mean hundreds of people touring their property with no intention of buying.

While keeping a property off the MLS does protect a property from languishing for too many days on the market, it also presents some potential downsides to sellers who follow the classic real estate transaction model. The main disadvantage focuses on the fact that the reach of an individual agent in a mainstream office can be limited, and this can be a particular problem with unique, high-value properties. If an agent keeps information about a luxury property in her pocket and only contacts her own personal network in hopes of finding the ideal buyer, the competition for the property can be inadequate. As a result, the seller may not realize the full financial potential from the sale. Agents who advise their clients to keep their property off the MLS must be doing so because it’s in the client’s best interest.

High-net-worth sellers may desire the privacy of avoiding the MLS, but they do want their property to sell as quickly as possible. They also want a fair price that represents the true market value. This is where agents and HNW sellers should seriously consider the auction process. Concierge Auctions provides the perfect solution to the MLS vs. pocket listing dilemma. Instead of posting a specialty property on the MLS and having its cachet damaged by being on the market for too long, setting an auction date removes that dilemma as the seller can choose the exact date of sale and their preferred closing date.

Furthermore, the auction process affords a seller all the benefit of all that a competent local broker brings to the table along combined with cutting edge marketing from Concierge Auctions.  For example, at the 2014 Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate Conference, Concierge COO Mike Russo accepted the award for Best Overall Marketing. Concierge is proud of the powerful reach of its many online, print and in-person resources. Listing agents who opt to stay off the MLS no longer have to rely only on the contents of their pockets. Instead, they have the unmatched marketing expertise of Concierge Auctions at their disposal.

The advantage of such extensive reach is felt in two separate areas: speed and selling price. Luxury properties can be tricky to price, because they’re often so unique that there may well not be comparable listings. Sometimes sellers will keep a property on the market for months on end, hoping to get the price they’re asking. Too often, the opposite happens: If a property has been sitting for too long, buyers will start coming in with low-ball offers. An auction clears that up, because buyers are all gathered at the same time and place, and the outcome is transparent.



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