What are “whispered announcements” in real estate? Booming housing market has them on the rise


The boiling US housing market shows no signs of slowing down, according to the National Realtors Association, with house prices rising a record 17.2% annual rate in March.

As demand for homes shows no signs of slowing down, real estate agents have increasingly used a controversial practice known as pocket listings, or “whispered listings,” to match potential sellers and buyers.

A pocket listing is a home that is listed for sale but is not listed on a region’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a private database that realtors use to share information. .


The number of pocket listings has increased in recent years, from 2.4% to 4.0% since November 2019, according to an analysis by brokerage firm Redfin.

It shows no signs of slowing down either, as the number of handheld ads has increased every month this year.

the the Wall Street newspaper Originally reported the increase in pocket registrations this week.

In this September 25, 2020 file photo, a ‘sold’ sign sits on land as construction of new homes continues in Westfield, Indonesia (AP Photo / Michael Conroy, File)

Sometimes pocket listings happen because a house gets foreclosed so quickly that a broker doesn’t have time to put it in MLS. Properties were on the market for just 17 days on average last month, up from 18 days in March and 27 days a year ago, according to the National Realtor Association.

Other times, a potential seller may choose not to list their home publicly for reasons of confidentiality. This can keep a seller’s name out of the news, but it could also prevent them from getting the best price for their home due to a lack of visibility.

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Celebrities frequently use pocket listings to buy and sell properties. For example, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson bought a $ 27.8 million Mediterranean-style estate in Beverly Park, Calif. From comedian Paul Reiser last month and the deal went off-market, according to the. New York Post.

Yet some industry leaders argue that the exclusive and secretive nature of pocket lists leads to discrimination and an unfair market.

“It plays into the worst fears of people who are on the outside looking in, when the houses are not on the open market,” Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, told FOX Business. “Nobody wants to feel like there’s a secret handshake, that you have to work with the right guy, belong to the right club. It’s just a part of the smoke-filled real estate past.”

The National Association of Real Estate Agents has created a Clear cooperation policy last year with the intention of cracking down on pocket listings by requiring all brokers to list their homes on MLS within one business day of a property being marketed.

But even that still has an exclusivity clause for “exclusive offices,” where brokers can keep a list out of public view and market it only to their office network.


For now, the housing market remains so competitive that potential buyers are offering more than money for a property.

Kellman said on Twitter this week that a woman in Bethesda, Md., Who worked with Redfin had pledged to name his firstborn after the seller, and still lost.

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