7,200 sf lot West of Market Kirkland

Awhile back, Dustin wrote a post about Pocket Listings, and we had a discussion about what “pocket listings” are, and why agents advertising them is generally against mls rules.

A pocket listing is someone who tells you they want to sell a property, but for some reason they either are not ready to, don’t want to, or can’t enter the property in the mls. 

I think this one may fall into the category of “can’t”, though I’m not totally sure.  I was recently contacted by someone who owns a 14,000 +sf lot with a house on it, West of Market in Kirkland which is zoned for 7,200 sf lots. It is a view lot, and the 7,200 sf vacant portion of the lot is on the view side (view of Lake Washington)  I believe it is unobstructable as to houses but not trees, across from Waverly Park.  Taking another walk over there today to study it further.

Back to the mls and “pocket listings”.  Clearly to put a property in the mls, you have to have an asking price.  Given current market conditions, do the builders want a 7,200 sf lot with a view West of Market in Kirkland?  There are lots of houses for sale over that way.  Might someone want to build their own custom house and get the lot cheaper by doing the short plat?

Since the lot is not two separate lots today, should the seller go to the time and expense of separating it into two lots and increase the cost of the lot accordingly?  Or in this day of the cheaper the better for a buyer, should they let the buyer of the lot participate in the short plat to save some money?

Given there is no current legal entity “7,200 sf lot” until after it is short-platted into two lots, can you even put the property in the mls, given it doesn’t exist as that legal description?

There is a note in the mls rules that you can list a property if it can not be put in the mls by reason of other mls rules, but you can’t use a NWMLS contract form to do so.  This one seems to fall into that category.

So to Dustin, since you asked, I guess there may be a “true” pocket listing…even here in the Seattle Area.  Maybe not.  Perhaps someone will shed some light on this in the comments.

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ARDELL is the Managing Broker of Sound Realty in Seattle/Kirkland. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and 25 years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. Follow Ardell on Google+

8 thoughts on “7,200 sf lot West of Market Kirkland

  1. I know the answer to part of this — you cannot put a portion of a lot, or a “subject to shortplat lot” into the MLS. There’s no way to guarantee to the sales agent (and his buyer) the ability to complete the sale. It has to be already shortplatted, with its own legal. The exception is if it’s approved but not recorded, with no conditions for its recording. I had this issue come up on a zero lotline townhome which had its shortplat approved…but not finalled. Rule violation.
    I would think there is a buyer out there who wants to build a custom home on the larger lot, as is. Certainly no builders that I’ve met who can any any new financing right now.

    It sounds like a pretty nice site even in “north” west of market.

  2. That’s what I thought, Gordon. Though as you say, I have seen some people do it.

    I don’t think it is “north” West of Market. It’s near me on the West Side. Kind of mid-West of Market LOL. North to me is up around 18th to 20th.

    Should the owner just have it shortplatted and raise the price accordingly, or offer a cheaper price in this market for the builder or new home owner’s builder to do the shortplat? Seems the builder or buyer could use the extra discount in this market.

    The City has already verbally OKd it as a rough idea 🙂 It could be a few feet short of 7,200, but the City seems OK with that. Not sure if the few feet short could fall on the existing home side, all or partial. The lot is not a full 14,400, but houses nearby were built on much smaller lots, for sure. So 7,150 should not be an issue.

    Also, if the buyer would go for a height restriction or allow the owner of the house some input as to view considerations from the existing house, the lot could be relatively cheap for this kind of lot. Those restrictions would have to be built into the new deed to save the buyer some money and protect the current owner. Another reason I don’t think moving forward with the shortplat until the buyer is indentified, would be best for all concerned.

    So I think this does meet the criteria for a pocket listing, since the mls won’t let it in there. I very much appreciate your taking the time to give me your thoughts, Gordon.

  3. Three years ago I did what your seller is contemplating with a house on Lake Washington, near Matthews Beach. Went all the way through the shortplat process. It’s very expensive and takes a long time, btw…so good to get started if your seller is interested in that. At the end of the day, one guy bought both the house & the lot to preserve the larger site…i.e. he paid the premium for both lots. Might be the best way to go for your guy — take some discounted “double lot” value and offer it out to the owner that wants the unique, larger lot. Good luck!

  4. I’m not sure that’s an option, but thanks for the advice. The owner really wants to stay in the existing house. I’ll factor it in and price it out that way in addition to the way I’m looking at it now.

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