Pocket listings are “for sale” properties that exist but aren’t searchable online or in the paper.
These are properties with owners who’d consider selling in the right situation, but do not want the property listed in public through Multiple Listing Services or listing aggregation engines.
These properties are nicknamed this way because their availability remains largely secret, and in the “pocket” of real estate agents.
Brokers and their agents are always talking with potential homeowners throughout their territory, and some owners will ask an agent to quietly float their property to potential purchasers who would be good prospects for the property. It can be especially savvy in a market with few homes for sale.
Using a real estate agent will help you find and see pocket listings, as agents are more likely to be “in the know” given our ongoing dialogues with clients and connections in the marketplace.
Seeing them may be an advantage, as there is less competition for pocket property. Pocket sellers, however, may be in less of a rush and/or less likely to sell for or below market value.
Keep in mind that nearly all pocket listings are in the luxury market, where ultimate discretion adds appeal, and broad advertising may be frowned upon by well-known or discrete sellers.