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Pocket listings bad for buyers?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 28, 2014 09:14 AM

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It's a tight market in and listings are scarce, down 20 to 30 percent from last year's already low lows.

So it is surely tempting for agents to try and quickly sell a house or condo without ever having to publicly post on MLS for other agents - and buyers - to see.

Agents are increasingly taking advantage of the two to three day loophole between the time they sign a contract with the seller and when they are required to put the listing up on MLS.

It's a phenomenon that accounts for as much as a quarter of all sales in Northern California and is on the rise locally as well in hotspots like Cambridge, according to this Banker & Tradesman piece.

Yet to me, the whole pocket listings craze smacks of small-town cronyism, or worse, a high school clique, with a few well-connected agents and their buddies hogging prime listings and cutting out buyers in the process.

The real estate market is already jam-packed with enough machinations and manipulations to sink a battleship - here's just one more way for sellers and their agents to stick it to the average buyer.

Real estate is already a relatively opaque business, with agents already able to drum up bidding wars with phantom buyers and all sorts of questionable tactics.

Simply put, taking real estate sales off-line is bad news for buyers.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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