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What is a "pocket listing," really?

Let's define the traditional term of a pocket listing. A pocket listing traditionally has always been a listing that a broker knows about, may not have the listing for, or maybe he does have the listing but it's just something that he's kind of kept secret or hasn't put out on the open market. He just knows it's there. He knows what the seller will accept and is just waiting for the right buyer. Well. just think of the nature of that. Think about how stupid that sounds. As if a broker is waiting around for a buyer to call him and say, hey do you have any pocket listings? And the broker says as a matter of fact I’ve been waiting for you to call me for two years!!  I’ve had this deal in my pocket and I knew it was just perfect for you and I’ve been wondering when you were going to call and ask about it! That’s just dumb and it doesn't exist. No broker has a deal in which they aren't always actively marketing it. What I think a pocket listing has emerged into being is more of when a buyer calls a broker and asks if they have any new or upcoming listings that haven’t been put out to the public yet, or that the broker hasn’t started talking to buyers yet, but the seller has said they want to sell it. Often these pocket listings exist because the seller doesn’t want to let the staff or the tenants know. So, it won’t be advertised on websites and such. But even then, the reality is that a pocket listing, or an off-market listing, or whatever you want to call it, any good broker is still talking to dozens if not hundreds of people on a one-on-one basis about the asset. Why? Because it's almost illegal not to. If a seller has given me a listing, my fiduciary responsibility whether he wants it on a website or not is to bring in the highest and best offer. I can't do that talking to one guy. I need to be out there trying to earn him the highest and best price and the only way to do that is to talk to as many qualified buyers as I can. So any broker who calls you and says they just got this off-market deal and I’m only telling you about it, is lying. At most, they're talking to their 10-12 best folks. If a broker is spending their whole game on one guy and they don't bring in the right offer, they’re toast. Especially if that buyer spent a week and a half analyzing it and turned in an offer and it didn't end up working out. A good broker tries to increase the probability of getting the best offer so they look good to the seller. They need to do it quickly and effectively.



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