Gullicksen Doesn’t See Benefit to ‘Pocket Listing’ for Middle Class

The past few years have seen inventory tighten as prices soar in San Francisco. The resulting competition has created, among other things, a brisk new marketplace for off-market listings. Properties sold off-market (aka “pocket listings”) were once confined to the rich and famous: folks who preferred not having a “For Sale” sign on their homes or public open houses. There are many reasons why a high profile seller might want to sell their home discreetly, but Bay Area real estate agent Tim Gullicksen asserts that regular folks do not benefit from this trend.

Sites such as Top Agent Network promise great results for sellers because only the top 10 percent of agents (by sales volume) are allowed into the network. Setting aside the concerns Gullicksen has about the unfairness of excluding 90 percent of licensed agents, he questions whether this exclusivity really benefits sellers.

“I understand the convenience of listing agents selling property off-market,” he said. “They don’t have to hold open houses or brokers tours. Their sellers, perhaps, can be sold on the cost savings of not staging, painting and otherwise preparing their homes for sale. But the convenience and cost savings will cost them plenty in the sale of their homes.”

Gullicksen says that without exposure to the broader marketplace, a home will sell for less, period.

“Maximum exposure to potential buyers equals maximum competition,” he said. “That’s the best way to get the highest price the market will support. Taking shortcuts for a huge asset such as your home strikes me as pennywise and pound foolish – on steroids.”

There are no statistics on off-market homes vs. MLS-listed homes, but there is information about for sale by owner properties vs. realtor represented properties. Statistics show that selling a home with the…

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