Hidden Market For Boston Area Real Estate

When looking to sell any Boston area real estate, one typically turns to a broker to get their property listed in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service.) But some homes are actually bought and sold without ever being officially listed in the MLS. This word-of-mouth technique is gaining popularity among sellers who want to avoid the perils of a down market, and perhaps save a little on the selling commission. But if you’re considering selling your home, this might not be the best route.

The Boston Area Real Estate Hidden Market

Boston area real estate for sale but not listed in the MLS or advertised as being for sale is known as a pocket listing.Once used mostly by the rich and famous, a “pocket listing” means that a home is not listed on a multiple listing service but is instead marketed directly by the property’s real-estate agent or broker — it is in that agent’s “pocket” – so to speak. But many not-so-rich and not-so-famous homeowners also go the pocket-listing route. The seller and agent have more control over who knows the home is for sale, who can look at it and, thus, who may eventually buy it.

These off-market listings for Boston area real estate have always been around. People may want privacy during a divorce or after a death, for instance, or an executive may not want his company to know he’s thinking of moving. But this type of sale has become more prevalent these days, and some agents and brokers, us included, don’t think that’s good for buyers or sellers.

Boston area real estate for sale that isn’t available to the general public, only to a privileged few, is just not a smart way to go about selling a home. If privacy is the issue, there are plenty of rules in place to protect sellers who don’t want the entire neighborhood to know their home is on the market.

Another reason for a pocket listing is that a seller might be hesitant to list a home in a down market but would be willing to sell to the right buyer, for the right price or both.

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When looking for Boston area real estate, you need an agent who has connections to all the other real estate agents and brokers who can find pocket listings. It’s practically impossible for a buyer to track down such properties that may be for sale. Sellers should keep that in mind!

Many sellers who choose a pocket listing don’t actually have their heart set on selling. They may not be motivated. In some cases, a seller who wants to try a pocket listing will be motivated later on and decide to move the property onto the MLS. Sellers of Boston area real estate who don’t want their property in the MLS need to understand they may be jeopardizing their ability to maximize their investment or of finding a buyer.

For more tips on selling your Boston area real estate, see our section on Boston Home Selling Tips to your right under Boston Real Estate Categories.

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