Pocket listings are homes that are for sale but are not on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so therefore do not show up in searches on websites such as this one. Your next question might be – why would a home seller in Marin not want to expose their property to the most buyers possible?
“Almost But Not Quite Ready to Sell My Home…”
There are many reasons for Marin pocket listings. A seller may ask their real estate agent to withhold their home for sale from the broader market, and treat it as a Marin pocket listing, advertised only via word of mouth and to specific, targeted buyers. As I write this article, I have one such listing — the client is not quite ready to sell her home but if the right buyer comes along at the right price, she might decide it’s time to sell, so she has requested that I treat her home for the time being as a pocket listing. Down the road, it is likely that this home, like some other pocket listings in Marin, will convert to a regular home for sale on the MLS.
Gain Feedback From the Market
In another case, the owners of a $3mm gated estate in Marin County asked me to add their home to my list of Marin pocket listings. In this case, they wanted to “test” the market without fully launching their home for sale. The feedback from this pocket listing period helped them decide to take the home off the market and undertake some home improvement projects to garner top dollar at a later point in time.
Privacy and Pocket Listings
Privacy is another factor driving the number of Marin pocket listings. In the higher-end Marin luxury home market, there are many homes that never go on MLS, are never held as open houses, and are never covered on the real estate websites. In these cases, the sellers value privacy above all and want to make sure that their home is seen by very few potential buyers, and those buyers have been through a screening process.
Exclusivity and Cachet
Some Marin home sellers may instruct their agent to list their home as a pocket listing to try to create a sense of exclusivity, particularly in the high-end luxury home market. This can generate buzz among agents (“Have you seen the inside of 123 Main Street yet?”) and drive viral marketing of the home via word-of-mouth. This strategy can backfire unless the property is truly unique and special.
How Do I Find Marin Pocket Listings?
My affiliations with the Marin Top Agent Network, Aalto and The Pocket Listing Service are a significant benefit in helping me find out about — and discretely advertise my own — Marin pocket listings. I am able to use the Top Agent network tools at my disposal to quietly inform other top agents in the area of my pocket listings, and to ask about pocket listings when I have buyers who are not able to find anything that suits them on the open market. I would also suggest you bookmark my featured properties for sale page as I post “coming soon” and pocket listings there.
I belong to the following pocket listing services:
The Pocket Listing Service
California’s Up and Coming Private Listing Service
Top Agent Network Marin County
A Proud Member of Top Agent Network Marin County
Search Portal for Marin County Pocket Listings Not Found Anywhere Else
Marin Pocket Listings Pros and Cons
The cases above are all very valid reasons for sellers to request their agent sell their Marin home as a pocket listing. However, based on my experience, the vast majority of homes — including luxury homes in Marin — benefit from broad exposure on MLS, the internet, social media, blogs, and editorial stories, and paid magazine / newspaper ads. I have instances where homes have gone for significantly over asking even though they were priced appropriately — just because they were well-prepared for sale and drew a significant amount of interest. For further reading on my advice for home sellers, check out my Selling A Home article.
I am happy to answer any questions you have about Marin pocket listings, or Marin real estate in general. Please call / text me at +1.415-847-5584 or fill out the below contact form.