Are You a Frustrated Home Buyer?
Searching online for off-market properties in Tennessee, can often send you down a rabbit hole. Your keyword search for off-market or pocket listings will often take you to a particular real estate website, where you will quickly become frustrated as you find that the site does not offer any specific homes for sale that are off-market properties.
The market has been very fast paced over the last couple of years and many times buyers wondered if they could possibly find an off market property, as they got desperate to find a home. By having a REALTOR® represent you, you are in a much better position to learn about off-market properties. Without a REALTOR®, the possibility of finding an off-market home becomes very slim. The reason they are not online is that a REALTOR® is not permitted to advertise to the public, those properties where a listing agreement has not yet been signed with the intent of it becoming active, or a coming soon status just prior to active.
So, you will not find a list of these properties advertised online,
What agents can do however, is advertise Coming Soon properties, as the seller has agreed and has signed the agreement to sell. Coming Soon homes usually need a little more time to go to active status, due to renovations, seller schedules, or the agent’s marketing strategy for that particular home.
Homes that are listed as a “coming soon” may not, under any circumstances, allow a buyer to view the property before it goes to active status. This does not prevent a buyer from making an offer on the home based on a drive by or from the photos online, if they are confident of what they want. It also gives a heads up, for planning purposes, to get a showing scheduled a few days in advance. To see it however, you must wait until the listing is active.
In the examples below, you will see how important it is to have buyer representation, working on your behalf to find the home you are looking for.
What is an off-market property?
- Sellers who have informed their listing agent of their intent to sell but are holding off for a period of time. This could be because the home needs some updates or renovations, or perhaps the timing is not just right yet for the seller.
- Sellers who want to purchase a new home but don’t want to put their home on the market before they find something.
- Homes under construction where the builder has not had their agent list the property yet. This is common when you go to a sales office in a community and they give you upcoming availability or tell you about lots or homes that have just been started.
- Homes that are currently under contract and proceeding to closing. This is a great opportunity to write a backup offer just in case things don’t work out. There are many homes that go under contract but end up in a “back to active” status within a week or two. When there is a backup offer in place, the listing agent will come to you immediately. This is very desirable to the seller as this keeps them from putting their house back on the market and starting the whole process over again.
- Houses that are being sold for sale by owner (FSBO) but the seller has not done much if any advertising. Your REALTOR will know how to find these homes.
- Homes that your REALTOR sold a few years ago and knows that their client may be interested in selling if the circumstances and pricing were advantageous.
- Investors who are in the middle of renovating or “flipping” a home and are not ready to put it on the market yet.
- REALTOR®’s networking about upcoming properties. A good agent knows how to network, techniques include word of mouth inquiries, a farming campaign to specific neighborhoods telling homeowners about a potential buyer for their home and real estate networking sites on social media.
- Coming soon properties that are not ready to be put into an “active listing” status on the MLS. Not all third party sites have the ability to show you a Coming Soon property, so again, be sure to check with your agent who can set up a search for you to specifically find these types of properties that meet your criteria and price range
- Properties that have been for sale at one time and the seller decided to remove it from market for a period of time. Your agent will be able to research these cancelled or expired listings.
What is a pocket listing?
- A pocket listing is a listing that is not advertised on the MLS, nor has any intent of being offered through the MLS to other brokerages and their clients. Therefore, metaphorically speaking, they are kept in a "pocket".
This is not an acceptable MLS practice, and is prohibited by the National Association of REALTORS® NAR's policy was adopted by to reinforce pro-competitive and pro-consumer benefits and to have clear cooperation between MLS participants.
- What is acceptable is an Office Exclusive" property where agreements have been signed by the seller and the brokerage, but the seller has requested an exemption not to be advertised. This could be because of privacy concerns due to celebrity status, a divorce, or a new job where the seller does not want to let his current employer or colleagues know about their upcoming departure. The brokerage office is allowed to talk about or disseminate information within that office, and may also have one on one promotion to their own clients, but may not advertise to other brokerages or to the general public.
- The downside for both buyer and seller is that there will be many potential buyers who will never know about it. The homeowner only gets a small segment of available buyers and that segment is determined by the listing broker.
For both parties, it is imperative that they work with an experienced and well connected REALTOR who will be able to use their networking skills to match a buyer and seller.
As you can see, there are many ways for an off market property to exist. The key to your success in finding one, is to have your own REALTOR® representing your best interests. A top Buyer’s agent will have the skill and knowledge to find homes that may meet your needs. Results can be slow or fast, as timing is a huge factor, but without a qualified and experienced agent working on your behalf, you will most likely not find it on your own.
If you are searching for homes and already have a buyer’s agent, be sure to ask about off-market properties.
If you are in need of a real estate professional in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area, Kim Blanton, a Certified Residential Specialist, would be glad to help. Check out the HIRE KIM page at HomesByKimBlanton.com. You may also want more information on why using a REALTOR® is beneficial.Kim Blanton on