Richards Real Estate

Private Sales

Q.My neighbor sold his home and it never had a sign nor was it advertised. I spoke to the Realtor that I had seen on the property and was told it sold so fast there wasn’t time to advertise or put it on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Is this common? G.S. Rio Vista

A.When a Realtor holds back a listing to sell themselves, it is known as a “pocket listing”, and they do that to avoid splitting a commission with another Realtor. This is accomplished by having a backlog of buyers looking for a certain home or price range, or often by using a sign with “coming soon”, indicating it is not ready for showing yet, but would be available sometime in the future. Those signs generate calls; and people get competitive when told they can’t have something now. They will push for an early showing and hurry up and make an offer before it goes on the market. Just another pocket listing.

But, the seller got their home sold, so what’s the problem? For one, the Realtor belongs to a Board that has ethics clauses they are bound to. One of those gives the Realtor 72 hours to put the home on the MLS, and a sign is supposed to go up the day it is listed, making the home a public sales venue. The advantage for the seller would be possible multiple offers and maybe bid up the price a bit.

A listing agreement is a contract between a seller and a Realtor for the Realtor to not only find a buyer, but a buyer that represents the highest and best interest of the seller. If a seller has multiple offers, he can pick not only the highest price, but the best terms and the buyer most likely to complete the deal.

A Realtor that would subvert the sellers options to make a little more money would make me suspicious as a seller, wondering what other manipulations were involved in the sale.

If a listing does not get entered on the MLS, there is no way for the Board to take action against the Realtor since they are not even aware of the sale. The only way to manage this kind of self-absorbed misuse is by the seller paying attention to what is happening. Anything that goes on the MLS will show up on public venues like, Zillow, Trulia, and my website (we post everything for  sale by every Realtor).

I’ve had plenty of opportunities for pocket listings, but I haven’t done them because it simply is not in the best interest of my seller, and it violates the standard of ethics promised by my Board affiliations.

Q. I have a rental property I recently listed for rent with a management company, but I don’t see it posted with any other Realty offices. Shouldn’t this be shared? D.W. Rio Vista

A. We manage rentals, and what we charge is a small percentage of the collected rents; no fee on security deposits. So, what we would get initially to rent a property is never enough to cover the cost of advertising, showings, screening, and the time to set up and sign leases. Then there is the ad-min time to set up the new account, so there would be nothing to pay another office for giving us a lead.

What would be nice is if we had another office’s rental listings so we could refer people when we don’t have something, but I’ve tried to set that up without success. Rentals are an office by office inquiry.

Posted on May 16, 2019 at 11:13 am by Sam Richards

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