Pocket Listings in Seattle?

I was a meeting this weekend with an agent in Southern California where he showed me a website he says he visits a couple times a week.   A competitor had built up a large repository of “pocket listings” for the Beverly Hills area and then stuck them behind a registration wall… of which he visited regularly.

Being a Rain City Guide kinda guy, I’m not keen to put things behind registration, but I am fascinated by the idea of putting together a page of pocket listings as a resource for Seattle area agents and consumers.  If you’re an agent who serves any area supported by the NWMLS and you’d like to advertise a pocket listing on RCG, let me know in the comment below.

If I get 5 or more pocket listings in the comment section of this post in the near future, then I’ll assume there really is demand for such a tool in the Seattle area and I’ll start up a new page (right between “About RCG” and “Seattle Agent Recommendations”) for pocket listings.

Here’s the only information I need from you:

  • Neighborhood
  • One to two sentence description of the listing
  • Contact information (name & phone)

For obvious reasons, I’m assuming that most agents won’t want to list the address of the pocket listing, but if you want to include that information as well, all the better.  And just to be clear, this is a free service of RCG.   Assuming it becomes a lot of work, I may charge a nominal fee to cover my time and/or automate the system, but I honestly don’t see that happening in the near future.

Are there rules for getting your pocket listing on RCG? Most definitely!   But I don’t even know what they are yet.   However, I will definitely figure out some rules if people start abusing the system.    Some potential rules that come to mind: (1)  Only allow agents to list their top 3 pocket listings, (2) must let me know if a pocket listing gets listed on the MLS and/or (3) must let me know if a pocket listing is no longer available. But even those rules aren’t hard-and-fast yet until I get some feedback from the community.

So, if you are an agent intersted in getting some additional exposure for your pocket listings, let me know!

49 thoughts on “Pocket Listings in Seattle?

  1. Leanne: Interesting… and well worth a follow up.

    My experience traveling between many different offices in many different brokerages is that pocket listings are a reality and that there could be a number of reasons that a potential seller doesn’t want to list their home publicly.

    I would think they were unethical if agents didn’t list them publicly in order to capture the listing, but what if it is the seller’s choice?

  2. Hi Dustin, they are a reality, but are a disservice to a seller. A true pocket listing is more than just a seller saying, ‘hey, maybe I’d sell, bring me a buyer and I’ll pay you a commission’. I don’t think that casual relationship is really a pocket listing, that’s just a FSBO … but when you advertise something that is for sale, addresses or not, or even have a signed letter, you create an agency relationship of more than just casualness, and I think you get into trouble there ….

    I’m not sure if there is a NWMLS rule or not, I’ll go look!

  3. A pocket listing is simply someone who is going to sell their house but isn’t on market yet. Every agent has pocket listings. It’s what they do or don’t do WITH them that concerns ethics.

    If one is a member of an MLS, they basically promise via that membership not to try to sell their listings outside of the mls system. In fact I think someone was just fined $5,000 for pre-marketing a listing.

    Membership has it’s priveleges…but also it’s duties. One of those duties is to share your listings with the other members and not try to sell them “out of pocket”.

    As to “seller’s choice”? Seller can’t tell the agent to get a $5,000 fine. The SELLER can pre-market their own home…but they can’t ask an agent who is a member of an mls system to do that for them.

    Still…many homes sell QUIETLY out of pocket…but don’t expect the agents who are doing it to say so on a blog, or tell you about their pocket listings on a blog.

    Once they appear, they are no longer “in the pocket” LOL!

  4. Ardell… Do you think it is just a different culture in LA or why do you think someone has been able to amass a decent size list in the Bev Hills area? Is it just because some people in LA, and I’m thinking celebrities here, have more of an incentive to not list their home publicly?

    If nothing else it’s a fascinating conversation… and I’m still not convinced it couldn’t work.

  5. Hey…the pocket King of L.A. is a good friend of mine. But I ain’t namin’ names, and he’s not telling anyone but his good friends about his pocket listings 🙂 The mls services there are not as fine happy as ours is here in Seattle. These are the highest fines anyone has ever heard of…and by FAR! Fines are usually cheap and worth going around at times…but not here in NWMLS-Land. I have more than a few pockets…and they are staying in my pocket 🙂

  6. Dustin,

    Every MLS has a rule that an agent must put their listing in the mls within X hours of taking the listing. Here it’s 24 hours! That rule is to make sure that an agent (or an office) doesn’t try to sell their own listing, and every mls has a rule like that. Enforcing it is another story and all mls’s are not created equal in that regard.

    When I was in L.A., The Westside had their own mls system. Pretty sure that’s changed by now. Many mls systems are still very territorial. NYC has no mls and Philly doesn’t use lockboxes last I heard. Even here I have heard tell of some heavy hitters and their offices touring their listings before they go on the mls.

    Even those who are largely responsible for their being such a rule are known to be the worst offenders around these parts. Almost as if the rule was made for everyone else.

    You’d have more success inviting owners to FSBO here than to get agents to post pocket listings. Unless they are too green to understand the rules and fines involved.

  7. Ardell:

    I won’t name names either! 😉

    In terms of MLS rules, none of what you’re saying really surprises me, although you and Leanne certainly put a damper on this idea… 🙂 My guess was that we would be bypassing the rules in this case because these were not listings that the agent ever planned to put on the MLS… At least in So Cal it’s so common, (it seems every agent I talk to has at least 2 or 3 pocket listings they never plan on listing in the MLS), that I figured there must be some other rules for this type of listing.

    With that said, I’m definitely aware that the MLS wouldn’t want agents to announce their pocket listings, but still, I assumed their must be a way around it considering I’d seen it done elsewhere. Anyway, I’m not interested in creating a new FSBO site, there are already plenty of them out there, and would only want to take this on if I thought I could create something unique that would be of value to the community.

  8. The reason you see it a lot in L.A. is the original mls system only included few brokers who knew each other. The others weren’t allowed in. Some of those original guys are still around those parts, and in a lot of ways it truly is “the wild, wild west”. They say the minute anyone prevents them from doing business, be it MLS or NAR, they’ll just go back to “the good old days”. In fact one of the major local brokerages even opted out when they couldn’t “outst” “the new discounter”, but they compromised all (including “the discounter”) and it blew over.

    Everyone plays by the rules. Some just don’t agree on who gets to MAKE the rules 🙂

  9. FWIW, our MLS does allow members to withhold listings from the service, provided the seller signs a “Certification to Withhold Listing” and this form is delivered (faxed) to the MLS within 48 hours of signing the listing agreement.

    I think it would be interesting to do this for high-end properties, and then place them behind a firewall. Call it something smart, super-exclusive, etc. You see this all the time in other industries, even here in the social networking world (ASW comes to mind). The broker would need better connections than I, but many have them….

    Exclusivity sells. This is an idea worth pursuing….

  10. Thanks to you guys, I just spent time re-reading our MLS rules & bylaws – something I admit to not having done in a few years. We have 48 hours to input our listings and they can be excluded from having to participate with a signed statement (or special stipulation in the listing contract) from our seller. The pocket listings behind a veil intrigues me, but I’m all about popping listings all over the place to gain the most exposure for my sellers.

  11. Ardell, I went to bed after about 6 paragraphs of those rules!!

    Exclusivity sells, but invisibility doesn’t. I can’t really imagine a large collection of sellers who choose not to be listed for sale in the local MLS system, unless that MLS system is very weak.

    Ours isn’t weak. I don’t like all the rules, but I agree with many, if not most of them. There isn’t an organization with rules though that I’d like all of them … I think agents especially like to try to find ‘a way’ that works for them and their clients, but forget sometimes to think about ‘if everyone did this’ how the impact would be.

    Now maybe if average market times grow longer and longer, we might have a rebellion of sellers who do not want to be listed in the NWMLS and have their DOM Days On Market listed on every website out there … Dustin might well have something there.

    I personally think DOM are important, but getting buyers into the properties for sale is more important, so they can see first hand what’s going on, and that long DOM stigmatize a listing, and reduce the number of bodies going inside that front door. I can’t see that as a good thing. I think information is great, but ‘too much’ upfront, before the committment of actual interest in the property is a negative give-away.

    Buyers want to see ‘everything’, but someday when they are sellers, they may realize ‘everything’ isn’t always needed at first glimpse. Just like a first date!

    … but I digress on the rules thing!

  12. As a seller, I would insist that my agent list my house in the MLS and market it aggressively. An agent with pocket listings is an agent who is failing in his duty to his seller. The only person who benefits from pocket listings is the listing agent…at the expense of the seller. This violates the principal of agency.

  13. I’m thinking of selling three properties here in Snohomish County. One is my primary home, another is a 5 bd. 3 ba rental and my mother’s house. I’m very interested in pocket listings and would like to learn more about this. This is one way to find the serious buyers out there.

  14. Commercial brokers do this constantly and couch it as in the seller’s best interest — control the showings, less distruption for the tenants, qualify the buyers (CBA rules are more relaxed on this issue than NWMLS). All they’re really doing is trying to double-side the deals, which is the whole reason pocket listings exist. Does your L.A. guy publish his pockets immediately to his “good friends” cohort, or does he shop to his personal buyer base first? If you’re going to co-broker anyway, why not just list the properties and for fullest exposure, avoiding any ethical issue? The only reason I can see not to list is if the seller is really reluctant to go to market and is really one of those “if you can get me my number just bring it to me and I’ll pay you” kind of sellers.

  15. Mike N.

    Once in a blue moon a seller gets more for a house by selling it out of pocket rather than putting it on the mls and proving to the prospective buyer that no one else is willing to pay the price he was.

    Say someone offers you $950,000. You insist on going in the MLS and later have to reduce the price to $899,950 before it sells at $885,000.

    Sometimes a person in the room with a special interest in the property will pay more than the open market, but NOT once you have proven by your actions that it is worth less.

    The real answer is that if you have an offer, whether it is listed in the mls or not, you need to evaluate that offer on its individual merits and not assume that it is not the highest offer you will get in the long run.

    Many if not most times when we happen upon a listing that we need to sell for more than the owner paid for it, the price the owner paid for it was MORE and not less…if they bought it outside of the mls system. In my experience For Sale By Owner properties are likely to ask more than an agent would list it for, and there are no savings passed through to the buyer.

  16. Reuben,

    While that is true in most, if not all mls systems, the member is not allowed to encourage or be the instigator for that decision. If one agent is found to have an inordinate amount of those “letters to withold from the mls”, they would still be in violation even with the letters.

    A member is permitted to send out a mailer offering a low commission, and putting the listings in the mls with low BA offerings as a result of the low commission. An agent is NOT permitted to send out a mailer offering a low commission with the caveat that it won’t be “in the mls”.

    The decision to not put it in the mls cannot have member involvement and no agent should have an inordinate number of those types of listings. Though enforcement of this concept is different from one mls service to another, they most all have this provision and understanding among members.

  17. Great conversation! Mike N, you are on the right track. In the Seattle/NWMLS area, pocket listings do a great disservice to the majority of sellers. The MLS exists for a reason. It gives all listed properties exposure to all buyers. In this market, or any market for that matter, isn’t that what sellers need to get the highest price the market will bear?

    California seems to operate differently in a lot of places besides LA. In the California desert, there are real estate signs posted in front of homes that are pocket listings and, unless you happen to know the listing agent or drive by the sign, you would not know about the house. It makes me wonder if the seller is really looking to sell or just test the waters.

    Dustin, I vote “no” for the pocket listing idea. I don’t think it is a good idea. If the property is truly an exclusive, rarified home or is owned by a celebrity, there are ways to market the home while keeping the identity of the owner private.

    I do find it amusing while many people in the LA/California world are looking for anonomity when selling, there are just as many who use their celebrity to advertise homes. It’s common to advertise a former celebrity owner when marketing a home there. It’s a very different marketing style than in the northwest.

  18. With my rental property, I have good relationship with my tenant and I want less disruption during the selling process. This is also another way to weed out the looky loos and less serious buyers out there.

  19. Mel,

    Tenants can ask for a 24 hour notice to view a home and no key box, which will cut down on any of those looky loos. Most buyers who make an appointment to look at a home are not looky loos. You would get looky loos at an open house. I would not do any open houses for a tenant occupied property to help minimize the disruptions.

    Of course, sometimes landlords, who have a good relationship with tenants, work out something by giving a discount in the rent while the home is being shown. The tenant feels like they are also getting something for being inconvenienced.

  20. Ardell,

    Your example is a good one. The exclusivity issue may ok for a truly special property for a very small subset of buyers.

    I was thinking of a specific property that’s a pocket listing in the California desert. This home had been on the market for a long time about a year ago. It’s a pocket listing with the same agent at the same price. This home falls within the average range of pricing for the area and is not a unique property, although the seller is the son of a Hollywood producer, so maybe they think they are unique! I am not sure what they are gaining by trying to sell this way, other than the days on market issue that Leanne brought up earlier. By the way, this is not the first time I’ve seen something like this in that area.

    I wonder if all the sun in California and the gray up here that makes us behave differently!

  21. I think the reason pocket listings are considered unethical is due to many agents not disclosing properly to those prospective sellers that the seller simply will not get the benefit of the full exposure of the marketplace that the NWMLS offers.

    An exclusive subset sounds cool, but if only 10% of the available buyers see that property information, that seller hasn’t been served well at all, which as Mike N says, violates the law of agency regarding sellers.

    In any market, I cannot imagine fewer buyers being aware of a property for sale is a good thing for that seller. A fine thing perhaps for the agent trying to control ‘who’ (ie, himself) sells that property, but not a fine thing for the seller.

  22. Debra,

    Every property that has ever been for sale and was taken off market is technically “a pocket listing”. There are many people who came off market in November, who are still interested in selling and are not “back on market” yet because the market is “soft”.

    Any agent with access to expired or cancelled listings has a whole database of “pocket listings”. He who wanted to sell in past and didn’t = potential seller and pocket listing.

  23. I agree Ardell.

    Although some sellers decide not to sell and do take their homes off the market because they cannot get their price, the home they hoped to buy has sold, the job transfer has gone away, they decide to work the marriage out, etc, etc.

    The home I was referring to has a real estate sign in front of it and is not getting the exposure it deserves. It’s hidden in a cul-de-sac and hidden from most of the buying public. My guess is the seller is really not ready to meet market pricing, since the home is still priced at a price from over a year ago

    A pocket listing could also mean a seller is not being very realistic and tells the agent if they can bring a buyer for the price they want, then they will sell. Maybe these sellers should use the “Make Me Move” site on Zillow!

  24. @John I just loved the photo… I didn’t even know where it was from. Just stole it from my mother’s collection and cropped it. 🙂 But thanks for the background!

  25. I’d be interested in discussing *any* reason a seller would prefer to have one agent, rather than the entire MLS, find a buyer for their property.

    Of course, if the Listing Broker isn’t offering any SOC, it cannot be input into the NWMLS. However, it is my understanding that such a listing can be input into some MLSes. I’m being lazy, but what’s the time requirement for submitting listings to CBA?

  26. @Dustin – too funny. I saw the photo and thought the post was about Quebec City/ Quebec’s 400th anniversary this year.

    Back on topic- in this market, especially in Ft Lauderdale, a pocket listing can also be a property that is rented, where the owner still wants to sell, but has taken the property off the market during the lease period.

  27. “The home I was referring to has a real estate sign in front of it and is not getting the exposure it deserves.”

    I have two I’m working on like that. One I have the buyer for and it is in escrow. The other is my listing that I had to cancel, but the sign is still up.

    There are some safety issues with regard to viewing these properties and putting it in the mls and throwing on a lockbox, that may not be in the seller’s best interest either. Seller’s best interest has many facets, and back seat driver’s always think they know what is best. Part of our job is to know when to use the everyday run of the mill methods, and when to alter them to fit a given situation.

    There are always going to be a few situations in this business that fall outside of the norm.

  28. Leanne,

    “Ardell, I went to bed after about 6 paragraphs of those rules!!”

    I really do think it is time for someone to revamp them and simplify then. When you get to 196 of them, it’s time to cut it down to size so people can actually read, understand and remember them.

  29. Slightly related question…

    Is it ethical for an agent who owns a property to let the MLS listing lapse and leave his / his broker’s For Sale signs up? It’s clearly not an oversight, because it’s been several months now.

    This is an attempted flip. Now it’s an eyesore in the neighborhood with grass over 2 feet tall.

    (When the property was on the MLS there was no disclosure that it was agent owned.)

  30. Not necessarily. Properties may only be listed with the NWMLS if there is a co-brokerage fee offered; it is perfectly legal for a seller – licensed or not – to post a “For Sale” sign or enter into a brokerage agreement without offering a co-brokerage fee. Should that be the case, it would be ethical for a Realtor(r) to maintain the signage (and the overgrown grass).

    As to whether it’s legal, well, I don’t know; the law states that a licensee must disclose that they have an ownership interest in the property; many seem to think that placing that under “Agent Remarks” and in print advertising suffices. I recently drove by a sign in Shoreline with a tag reading, “Agent is Owner.”

  31. I am surprised to see such a negative opinion of pocket listings. I would think there would be more demand for service like this. I am a realtor in Miami, and when I have a client who can’t find what they’re looking for, I call up all the top agents and ask for their list of pocket listings. We all have them, why not compile them in some sort of database strictly for realtors?
    Have you heard of the foreclosure bus? I even thought of doing a similar thing for pocket listings. Taking a group of people around in a rented luxury limo/bus and showing them what’s available but not on the market. After reading your post and its comments, maybe my idea is unethical and illegal.

  32. Riley,

    Some mls governing bodies are more strict than others. Most have the same rule, but many don’t enforce that rule. This rule is usually not in the ethics section nor is it a law, it is in your mls membership rules. Basically as a member you are supposed to support the mls generally, and not work toward methods that could make the mls defunct, such as a separate website for non-listed property.

    The mls is a “you put yours in and I’ll put mine in and we’ll sell each others” agreement. Many don’t understand this. Some will sell everyone else’s that are in the mls, and keep theirs out. That’s not keeping up their end of the bargain. It’s not a place where you choose or choose not to advertise, like Craig’s List. It’s a membership and rule driven body. Even if you don’t have a rule, as a member you have a duty to support it best you can.

    Check with your mls office, which in your area is probably the same as the local Board of Realtors. In our area they are not one in the same, but in most they are one in the same, and I’m pretty sure in all of Florida the mls is part of the Board.

    When I was in Florida (Lake Mary/Longwood) the problem was that many owners did not have enough to pay a commission, and yet it was not “short” as to lienholders. So there wasn’t much choice. How can you put it in the mls, if you can’t promise the agent showing the property that they can get paid. So sometimes you are limited by the factors involved. First and foremost you have to do what is best for the seller, and maximum exposure via the mls is what is best for the seller most times.

    It’s not just about “how can I make some money off this house”. It’s about “how can the seller make the MOST money off this house”. More buyers seeing it is usually what is best for the seller…though not always.

  33. Agreed. I am not knocking the MLS either. By far the MLS is the best way to promote a property, at least here in South Florida. And I also believe that it is the best way for a seller to make the most money off his house (more people will view the house which will create more demand and the seller will get paid more). Assuming, of course, that you have a property in demand and that my college economics teacher was correct. But the MLS is also the best way for Realtors to make money because we have access to so many more properties. In the current market, the chances of a realtor finding his own buyer is slim. Therefore, we need the MLS to give our properties maximum exposure.
    As far as showing pocket listings, I don’t feel that it should be against the MLS rules because the potential seller does not want their house listed. As simple as that. They know that they could put it on the MLS, but they are choosing not to. Typically, a pocket listing comes about by speaking to someone who doesn’t want to publicly announce that they are moving, doesn’t want the hassle of showing the property all the time or simply thinks of it as a “let’s see” proposition, and “might” be interested in selling it if a realtor could find a buyer. I don’t see any harm in that.
    Thank you for the response.

  34. “I don’t feel that it should be against the MLS rules because the potential seller does not want their house listed. As simple as that.”

    True Riley, very true. As long as the agent doesn’t encourage them to think that way in the first place by offering to sell it for a lower commission IF they don’t put it in the mls. The idea has to emanate from the seller, not the agent.

    Also, once the seller makes that decision, helping them to not be in the mls by providing a website for them to do it on, is not usually against a rule, but clearly “frowned upon”.

    The simplist way here to have a “pocket listing” is to make it a “make me move” listing on Zillow. In fact why would any agent or blog need to set up a place “for pocket listings” when there is Craig’s List and Zillow?

  35. The point against pocket listings is that largely they are held out of a MLS system not at sellers request, but by an agent hoping to sell it himself. That clearly is not in the sellers best interests.

    I agree with Ardell’s Craigslist and Zillow points.

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  37. We just sold our home as a pocket listing (while trying to decide our price). We signed an MLS the day ‘after’ we accepted an offer presented by our agent from an agent not in their office/business in Oregon. We got more than we were going to list it for!

    We want to do the same (but for different reasons) in Washington state and our agent not only balked but told us it was ‘illegal’ in Wa. We cannot list ‘yet’ but would consider offers, what’s the problem?!

    Sellers have good reasons they may want to wait on listing, why would a realtor not just get the info out there to their colleagues? Not like an offer can be presented without them?

    • Often agents say “illegal” when it is either against a rule or a law or a statute or an office policy. They quite often know that they are “not allowed”, but misquote the source of why they are not allowed. The end result being the same and correct that the agent is not allowed to “pre-market” a property prior to it being in the mls in THIS mls system and not necessarily in the entire State of Washington.

      Suffice it to say that the reason the agent can’t get the word out “to their colleagues” is because that is selective. It’s pretty much an all or no one proposition. Either all agents who are members of the mls are notified of the new listing by putting it IN the mls…or no one can be notified except the listing agent. There are many reasons for this and ALL mls systems in the Country require that the property be put IN the mls within a designated period of time from the day you sign a contract to pay your agent. Over the years that has been reduced from 10 days to 3 days to 48 hours to 24 hours, depending on the mls in the area. Agents are not supposed to be members of an mls and at the same time keep their listings in their “pocket” while selling the listings of other members who offered them freely and per the fair rules of membership.

      First it is deemed to be in your best interest for ALL buyers to know your home is for sale and not just one or a few. I understand this worked out for you and you were happy, and that part of the reasoning can clearly be over-ridden by you as long as you are advised as to the potential shortcomings of that plan.

      Second…be aware that telling only one agent’s colleagues could be a violation of fair housing as to whom you are including in your pocket listing notices and who you are excluding from being made aware that there is a home for sale. It’s not all about you when it comes to fair housing issues. It’s about the buyer who you excluded from being notified that your home is for sale.

      Third…and key to ONLY here in our mls…our mls gives the agent time to get the home ready for market…more time than any other mls and up to 30 days…as long as they promise to use that time to the purpose given and NOT to sell the property outside of the system while pretending to need the time for a different purpose.

      When you hire an agent to put the property IN the mls, it is so that you get lots and lots and all agents on equal basis to show and sell it. That is what an mls is. Our members agree to give ALL members equal opportunity to sell it. That is why your wanting to exclude some of the agents and their buyers, and use a member of the mls to exclude them, is not allowed IF the licensed broker you hire is a member of the mls.

      See Craig’s new post and company that was posted on this blog earlier today or yesterday and his new idea and company. NONE of Craig’s listings will be IN the mls and all are basically “pocket listings”. But he had to quit the mls to do that. So you can be a pocket listing in WA with Quill. Not sure what happens when you want to switch from being a pocket listing to being a listed property. If you only want to try that for a few days…you’ll have to ask Craig.

      • Thanks Ardell!! Sure, you can start with Quill. If we’re not successful, the listing agreement can be cancelled at any time. So start with Quill and see how it goes. If you don’t get the traffic or exposure you want, fire me and hire your favorite MLS-listing broker.

        That said, I do NOT offer “pocket listings.” Because such a listing is not shared beyond the broker’s own personal circle. I don’t see how that could possibly be in the seller’s interest if the seller wants an assurance that she got full fair market value for the house. The only way to do so is to put it “on the market” i.e. advertise its availability to as many buyers as possible.

        Which is exactly what Quill does, by listing on Zillow, Redfin, and other popular search sites. But we certainly don’t keep listings in our pocket. That’s a practice you find in the traditional system, not at Quill.

      • Very informative reply. You are, of course correct. In hind sight, the listing should have been submitted prior to an accepted offer.
        Strangely, the same “agency” (different agent and broker) at our new location gave us another eye opening experience. The agent received ours plus three other offers and presented NONE in writing to her seller (whom we knew and was waiting for our offer).
        This agent corresponded by phone and text to complete the deal she wanted to another buyer. We would have competed in a bid off but we’re not afforded the opportunity.
        15 days later and we sti do not have a sign back on our offer.
        The broker and this agent met with us and our agent and with my evidence agreed it wasn’t handled “properly’ – I say neither legally nor ethically. The short answer was – too bad.
        My broker asked for a copy of the office policy on presenting offers, he refused.
        This market is rather nerve wracking for buyers – sellers and shady agents seem to have the upper hand.
        Still not sure what to do about that agent and broker.

        • It’s hard to provide uniformity as to ethics and standards of practice, and yet still allow consumers to have more options than the same old; same old as to cost and system. I rarely run into an unethical agent, and NONE who would agree they are unethical. 🙂 In the real world everyone does the best they can and “fair” isn’t always the end result.

          In your sale of your home it seems you did not include all potentially interested buyers and you were happy with that and were wondering why you couldn’t do the same here. But then when you were one of the excluded buyers when you went to purchase…shoe was on the other foot…you were not happy. That’s how I’m reading your two comments in combination.

          Always best for all buyers to have an equal opportunity and at least 4 days to see the home and make an offer on it. Anything less appears unethical or unfair to someone, whether it is or it isn’t.

          That said I am closing on a home for a buyer client next week where we convinced the seller to accept our offer within 24 hours of list without waiting for other offers. So what’s best for my client is what I do…always. Being fair to other buyers is not my job when I am representing the buyer. Being ethical? Yes and Always. But fair was taken out back in 1996 or so when some agents represent buyers while others represent sellers. We can’t always be fair to everyone when the priority is to do what is best for our client.

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