The Ultimate Guide to Pocket Listings: What They Are and How They Work for Buyers and Sellers

A pocket listing is a term used in the real estate industry to describe a property that is for sale but not publicly advertised on the multiple listing service (MLS) or other platforms.

An image of a house being sold
Pocket listing

A pocket listing is usually marketed by the seller’s agent to a select group of buyers.

There are various reasons why a seller may choose to sell their property as a pocket listing.

In this article, we will explore what a pocket listing is, why sellers use it, and what buyers need to know about it.

What is a pocket listing?

A pocket listing is a property that is for sale but not listed on the MLS or other public platforms.

The MLS is a database that contains information about properties for sale in a specific area, and it is accessible by real estate agents and brokers who are members of the local real estate association.

It is the main source of information for buyers and sellers who are looking for properties or comparing prices in the market.

A pocket listing, on the other hand, is only known to the seller’s agent and a few potential buyers or agents who have been contacted by the seller’s agent.

It may also be referred to as an off-market listing, a private listing, or an exclusive listing.

A pocket listing is not illegal, but it may not comply with the rules and regulations.

Why do sellers use pocket listings?

There are several reasons why a seller may choose to sell their property as a pocket listing, such as:


Some sellers may not want to expose their personal or financial information to the public, or they may not want to deal with the hassle of showing their property to many strangers.

A pocket listing allows them to sell their property discreetly and selectively to qualified buyers.


Some sellers may believe that their property is unique or desirable, and they may want to create a sense of scarcity.

A pocket listing can generate more interest and demand for the property, and potentially lead to a higher price or a faster sale.


Some sellers may not be ready or committed to sell their property.

A pocket listing gives them more control and flexibility over the timing and terms of the sale.


Some sellers may want to save money on the commission fees or marketing costs that are associated with listing.

A pocket listing can reduce the expenses and paperwork involved in the sale process.

What do buyers need to know about pocket listings?

For buyers who are looking for properties in a competitive or low-inventory market, pocket listings can offer some opportunities and challenges, such as:


To find out about pocket listings, buyers need to have access to the network of agents.

Buyers can either work with an agent who has connections and reputation in the market.

Buyers can also use online platforms or social media that specialize in pocket listings.


Because pocket listings are not widely advertised, buyers may face less competition from other buyers.

However, buyers may also face more competition from other buyers who are in the same network.

Buyers may need to act quickly and decisively to secure a pocket listing.

3.Due diligence

Because pocket listings are not subject to the same disclosure and verification standards.

Buyers should hire a professional inspector, appraiser, and attorney to evaluate the condition.

They should also compare the price and features of the pocket listing with other similar properties in the market.

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