Pros of Pocket Listings

By SARAH KNAUER | Special to the Palisadian-Post

Are you thinking of selling your home but do not want to deal with looky-loos driving by and coming into your open house? Perhaps you are a celebrity or high-net-worth individual, or you simply are not ready to tell your kids or neighbors that you are moving.

If this is the case, you may want to consider a pocket listing. That is when you choose an agent to quietly list your home and share it among the real estate community only, not the public.

You might ask, “Is this effective?” Yes, it absolutely is!

In January there were four sales recorded in the Multiple Listing Service, which is historically low for the Palisades at this time of year.

However, once you add in the off-market sales, there were nine total sales recorded. (Note that one of the MLS sales went into escrow off-market, but was entered in the MLS for stats purposes.) Effectively, six homes sold off-market, while only three homes sold via the MLS.

This shows us that having your home listed as a “pocket” does work to get it sold. Your agent can market your home to other top agents in the community, screen potential buyers carefully and arrange showings only for those most qualified.

While exposure is more limited, there are several active buyers who prefer to purchase homes off-market—whether it be for privacy reasons or simply to reduce the chances of entering a multiple offer situation.

For the seller, regardless of the length of time it takes for your home to sell, the “days on market” is never calculated, so your listing always appears brand new, as it is presented usually on a case-by-case basis to a potential buyer.

It also gives the seller much more flexibility on the length of escrow and time to find a replacement property.

For a buyer, the rising percentage of off-market sales means it is imperative to know about the off-market inventory when looking for a home, as that expands what may be available to you.

When you decide on which agent you want to represent you—on what is most likely the biggest purchase of your life—make sure to ask them about what off-market listings they have access to.

While the average agent usually has access to a handful of pocket listings, Amalfi Estates has built a database over 25 years complied of hundreds of off-market listings. Considering that there are only 88 homes on the market, this is a huge advantage we give to our buyers.

Want to learn more about listing your home off-market or finding off-market inventory? Get in touch with a local agent today.

Sarah Knauer is a sales partner at Amalfi Estates that has sold over a $1 billion in properties and was selected by The WSJ as one of the top 60 teams in the country out of one million agents. Sarah can be reached on her cell at 310-663-4606. For more information, visit