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Milwaukee’s Private Listings! Just for Luxury Homes?

Pocket listings (or “private listings”) can be a great, private option for selling a home – at any price.  Pocket listings are homes for sale that are listed with a Broker but not publicly marketed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

Pocket listings may be advertised by the Broker for an agreed upon period of time through the Broker’s marketing channels: their website, Facebook page and other company social sites.  However, it is considered a private listing for the most part because it is not publically syndicated through MLS to all the other brokerages or outlets like Zillow and Realtor.com.  Price changes, Days on Market and Sales Ratios are privately held from the public until the recorded day of closing when the property’s sold-closed data is shared with MLS.

Certain circumstances may make listing a property privately an attractive option for some home sellers.

Here are four reasons why a pocket listing may be a good idea for you.

  • You want to maintain privacy for business reasons. One of our clients was the CEO of a local company who was in Milwaukee explicitly to sell the company. If he had listed his home on the market publicly, it could have impacted his ability to effectively negotiate in the company’s best interest. We privately listed the property and placed it on the homepage of our website giving his family privacy and yet marketability. We sold the property for $2.2M.
  • You want privacy for personal reasons. You may be a public figure who doesn’t want your (literal) dirty laundry in the open, or you may have a tenant on your property you haven’t told about the sale. With a private listing, you reduce the chance of inquiries regarding the sale of your home from those not in the market to purchase a home.
  • You live out of the area for part of the year.
  • You want to test the market. If you’re not sure what Buyers would be willing to pay for your home, a brief stint as a pocket listing could help you understand whether you could get a higher price for your home than what a market analysis (resulting in Realtor opinions) might determine.

Testing the market is probably the most common reason Sellers choose to proceed with a pocket listing in Milwaukee. Powers Realty Group just completed this process with a moderately priced home in Fox Point.  The Sellers received four price opinions from Realtors with an unusual $100,000 spread between the Realtors on pricing a $400,000 plus home. That is a very large spread for a medium-priced home in Milwaukee.  However, the home is very unique and homes with very unique features can be trickier to price than some.

Powers Realty Group proposed on option to the Seller to list initially as a pocket listing (known as our Little Black Book Collection) to test the market for one week at the property’s maximum price.  We advertised the home on PowersRealty.com and through the Powers Realty Group Facebook Page and discovered people loved the home and would pay a premium price. When we could not keep up with the private showings, we took the home public on the MLS, received multiple offers and the property sold over the asking price.

There were a number of factors the Seller considered when deciding whether or not to select a pocket listing, including the time of year. We discussed the slow fall market this year, and we were not sure we could get the Seller’s price.  Testing the market was a good option for this young family to ensure we could reach their financial goals through the sale of their home.

Pocket Listings are not the norm nor should they be. They are, however, an option that is not often discussed with Sellers and may be an effective strategy to help Sellers achieve their financial goals through their real estate holdings.  In the case of the Fox Point house above, it was not until we took the property “live” in MLS that we actually achieved the Seller’s goals. The pocket listing was a great way to test the interest of Buyers, but when it came time to get Buyers to make offers, we needed the assistance of our Greater Milwaukee Metro MLS and our cooperating Brokers to accomplish that task.

Powers Realty Group is a distinctive boutique real estate broker focused on the needs of customers delivering exceptional results. We are the trusted local experts. Call us today about buying or selling your home.

Call Suzanne Powers