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The "Pocket Listing" Myth

The MLS System is BY FAR the most important tool we have in Real Estate.  Can you even imagine imagine how we would function today without it?

The old codgers around the office have some stories, I tell ya!  I guess when you got a new listing, you’d be on the phone all day with all your REALTOR® buddies:

"Hey Vern, I got a beauty coming on in Old Town.  She’s got everything!  Orange wall-to-wall, pink plumbin’ fixtures, electric oven, the works!  Puttin’ ’er on for $24,900!  Hop in the Studebaker and come have a look-see!"

Not to make fun of the old codgers in the office, but holy cow!  What a grind!

Folks, we’ve got it made compared to the old days.  Don’t forget it.

Here’s my question:

With an incredibly powerful tool like the MLS at our disposal, why would anyone ever try to sell a property and NOT use it?

This is like trying to sell your car by standing on a street corner with a cardboard sign.

Let’s think about this for a minute.  In our market, we have over 5,000 licensed agents.  If I list a house for fair market value, I’m hoping I can find ONE agent with ONE buyer willing to pay a price reasonably close to the asking price.  If I’m extremely lucky, maybe there’s two.

Now, where’s that ONE buyer going to come from? 

I have NO idea!

But it doesn’t matter.  I post that new listing on our powerful MLS System, one of those 5,000+ agents notices it; he’s got a potential buyer, he books a showing, they love it, they write an offer, and voila…

It’s SOLD!

Compare that to trying to sell it without using the MLS System.  I’m standing on the corner with my cardboard sign.

Even if by fluke I happen to find a potential buyer for this property, they know it’s not listed, so what are the chances they’re going to pay fair market value for it? 

Close to zero.

If you want your client to get the highest possible price for their home, you MUST post it on the MLS System so that EVERY potential buyer has the opportunity to view it and potentially write an offer.

If your clients aren’t ready to list yet, and they want you to “give it a try with a “pocket listing”, you’re doing them a disservice by not thoroughly explaining this to them.

If you don’t do this, it’s as if you’re going back 50 years in time.

I can hear the objections now: “This is wrong.  I’ve successfully sold lots of pocket listings!”

Wrong!  Yes, you’ve sold pocket listings.  But “successfully” implies that you got your clients the highest possible price.

Without fully exposing the listing on the MLS System, you can’t possibly claim that you’ve done your best for your clients.

If you are a high-integrity agent, you need to ensure your clients understand how important the MLS System is.  They will make the final decision, but you’re the expert:

It’s your job to make sure your clients fully understand the power of the MLS.

—Coach Ted

Ted currently has two openings for one-on-one coaching.  Click here for more information.

Ted Greenhough

12 X RE/MAX Chairman’s Club ($500K+) all as an individual agent (2006-2017)
Now, I teach good REALTORS® how to be great REALTORS®

Knowledge First Real Estate Training
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To dramatically elevate the level of 
customer service in Real Estate in North America.


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