Courtesy of Ellen Paris
Here’s the inside scoop behind off-market real estate listings and the advantages they give buyers, sellers, and agents in today’s market.
Off-market listings also called pocket listings are a valuable slice of business to many ultra-luxury and luxury agents around the country including Parnes and Harris. An off-market or pocket listing is a listing that agents markets to other agents only and does not get placed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service.) One of the advantages is the listing won’t appear on sites like Zillow and other online platforms that populate from the MLS.
Here are the advantages to buyers with off-market listings or pocket listings according to James Harris. “What ultra-luxury buyer doesn’t want something others can’t have? It’s exclusive and confidential and they just want what their friend could not get.”
For sellers, the privacy factor is a major deal. A lot of sellers do not want to have their homes published on the MLS for a variety of reasons. “Some simply don’t want people knowing they are selling,” said Harris. Another plus to the sellers is they have the flexibility to test price points. “If a property goes on the MLS and is overpriced then the price is cut and cut again. The listing accrues days on market and can become stale. Then agents stop paying attention to the property,” said Harris. Some industry insiders tag it, “deaths by a thousand cuts.”
Chris Dyson, co-founder of ThePLS.com (The Pocket Listing Service) explains the private platform dedicated exclusively to real estate agents. “We have over 15,000 members now with around 2500 total listings on the site. We have members and listings in practically every state, with a strong focus right now on Southern California and South Florida.” Membership is at no cost to agents, an enticement to join.
Exclusivity to agents only with no public access make ThePLS.com different and valuable. “By collating the off-market and coming soon inventory in one place, we are able to offer the members access to listings their clients don’t have, thus making them more valuable and relevant. Which is critical in a time when the public platforms are seen to be eroding agent value and relevance,” Dyson notes.
“What ThePLS.com does is take that off-market business and give access to the broker community. This brings power back to agents so online platforms like Trulia don’t take the control away from them,” Harris confides.
As the real estate industry continues its evolution look to additional platforms to change up the game.