People love the feeling of getting something that no one else has seen, touched, or
experienced. The feeling of exclusivity has an appeal to some buyers beyond any price point,
and for years, sellers have used that as leverage when selling their home. With the option of
exclusivity, also comes a possible downfall of less market exposure, but sellers have been
taking that chance for years, and it has paid off for them in markets where people want to feel
they have a step up on the Jones’ and get a property no one else has seen. Unfortunately for
most, this time has come to an end. Due to new recent laws and regulations, in some parts of
the world, pocket listings are no longer allowed, and there are a lot of mixed reviews about it.
In a world where some people can’t brush their teeth without putting it online, things have
changed. Things are no loner as private as they once were, and this includes the real estate
market. The recent debate about pocket listings, went beyond the feeling of exclusivity that
most buyers get when the purchase a home via a pocket listing. In real estate, a pocket listing
is a property where a broker holds a signed listing agreement with the seller, but it is never
advertised nor entered into a listing system, such as the MLS. In some countries it is called an
exclusive listing. In areas such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, buyers enjoyed the
perks of a private listing because it means they could get a property no one else had seen, and
can show it off.

As a seller, you take quite a risk putting your home up for sale as a pocket listing because it
does not get the marketing or attention of a traditional home that is listed for sale. It puts a lot of
responsibility on the real estate broker and their sphere of influence to get the home sold. But
much debate was recently being had over the intentions of pocket listings. In a world where
everything is becoming so transparent, people started to question its place in the real estate
industry.There were agents being accused of using pocket listings as a way to discriminate
against who could see a home, which violates fair housing laws. They also found many agents
going into dual agency because they would often find the buyer for their own listing, which isn’t
smiled upon.

With a pocket listing, sellers could also enjoy the fact that their home was listed and a contract
was signed, yet private so it gave them some time to get things fixed up before it went live on
the MLS. But today, we live in a world where open houses are being administered via keyless
locks and self-showings, the real estate world is like the rest of the world in where transparency
is taking over. Keeping a lid on information is impossible today, secrets do not last long and
everything is eventually exposed. Given the changes, laws recently were put into play to get rid
of pocket listings. Law makers feel if you want your house to go up for sale, it should be
available to every buyer who is looking to buy a home. It shouldn’t be hidden to a select few.
They want all listings available for everyone to see instantly, no holding back, and no secret
houses for sale.

Its quite a shift, and something both sellers, buyers, and agents have to adjust to. There are
still arguments about it from both sides, but at least agents can help sellers still offer some sort
of exclusivity in some creative and legal ways. The days are changing, and not all things good
come with transparency. Opening up things that were once private comes with risk. People can
take advantage of that as well, such as the recent airBnB situation. When private houses are
made open to the public, people can abuse that power and cause tremendous harm to others,
and trust can be lost. Only time will tell, and we will see how this new law pans out, and how
the real estate world adjusts.