In the real estate industry amongst our peers we call them “pocket listings”. These listings are secret listings that stay off of our MLS or sometimes are put on the MLS as being “temporarily not available to show”.
There isn’t any benefit to the homeowner who wants to sell and wants to get top dollar for the home by putting it on the market and letting buyers make offers. Real estate agents almost always benefit from pocket listings. Agents get phone calls and people want to see the home and they make new friends and get new clients.
There are some folks who believe that agents choose to keep homes off the MLS so they can make more money by representing the buyer and the seller. We call that “dual agency”.
Last winter I found a home that was perfect for one of my buyers. He was a cash buyer. The home was being withheld from the MLS and the listing agent would not return my phone calls or answer my emails when I tried to contact him so that I could get permission to show the home to my buyer.
Eventually the home showed up as a home that had been recently sold. I noticed that the same agent represented the buyer and the seller. The home sold for less than my buyer was prepared to offer.
Some real estate agents are telling homeowners that they are “pre-marketing” the home before it gets on the MLS. I guess I don’t see any advantage in doing that. Either the home is for sale or it isn’t. Homes in St. Paul are selling very quickly right now.
There isn’t any need to “pre-market” them. Sellers should be getting multiple shortly after their home goes on the market if it is priced right and if it is being marketed with extraordinary photography.