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Real Estate Business Nov Dec 2013: Leverage and Whisper Listings

Article excerpt courtesy of Real Estate Business

To understand how to handle pocket listings, you have to know what they are. When asked about pocket listings, Jacques Ambron, CRBSM, SFR, broker at Madeline Realty Ltd. in Forest Hills, N.Y., responds with a question: "What do you mean by pocket listing? Do you mean it's a listing an agent holds onto and doesn't bring into the office? Or do you mean it's one the office holds onto and doesn't enter into the MLS, which I call an in-house listing?"

Here, we're talking about the latter definition. It's what F. Ron Smith, president of Leverage Global Partners in Los Angeles, a network of luxury boutique brokerages, calls a whisper listing. And Walt Danley, president of Walt Danley Realty in Paradise Valley, Ariz., has an entirely different name for it.

"I don't like the term; we use the term 'private listing,'" explains Danley. "It's a listing where we have a contractual agreement with the client in writing that says we won't put the property in the MLS. But if we bring a buyer or if through our marketing channels or efforts, another agent brings a buyer, not only will we be compensated, but the other agent will be compensated as well."

These brokers report a growth in the number of off-the-MLS listings. "My private inventory of these listings is right at $60 million," says Danley. "It's close to 20 percent of my inventory. That's a little high. Normally, it's closer to 10 percent. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or a trend. But it's among the largest dollar-wise chunk of inventory we've had in the last six to seven years."

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