Written by Patrick Cairncross
The infamous "pocket listing" has come under fire by the National Association of Realtors. Pointing to an industry wide uptick in marketing tactics that withhold a property from the Multiple Listing Service, the NAR has set out to end a practice that they say discourages cooperation between brokerages and undermines necessary competition that protects consumers.
The new "MLS Clear Cooperation Policy" is effective from 1/1/2020 with local implementation required by 5/1/2020. It reads: Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.
Does this mean that we won't see homes selling "off market" in the future? Not exactly.
We still expect to see homes selling in the "coming soon" stage, which is the time between when a listing agreement is signed and when a home hits the open market. We also will continue to see savvy agents uncovering unlisted opportunities for their buyer clients. These might include fruits of cold calling and engaging with homeowners whose homes recently failed to sell on the open market.
Where we anticipate seeing the biggest change is with sellers who have instructed their agent to withhold their listing from the open market. This is most common with high-end and celebrity homes where privacy takes priority. How will we connect buyers and sellers in these circumstances without the use of public marketing? We're back to word of mouth, the power of one's rolodex, and good old fashioned hard work. And honestly ... we're OK with that.
Questions or comments? Give us a shout.