“Pocket listing” means that a home is not listed on a multiple-listing service but is instead marketed directly by the property’s real-estate agent or broker — it is in that person’s “pocket.” The seller and agent have more control over who knows the home is for sale, who can look at it and, thus, who may eventually buy it.
Some homes are bought and sold without ever being officially listed. This word-of-mouth technique – once used mostly by the rich and famous – is gaining popularity among sellers who want to avoid the perils of a down market. But agents warn it might not be the best route.
One reason for a pocket listing is that a seller might be hesitant to list a home in a down market but would be willing to sell to the right buyer, for the right price or both. Most buyers are looking for deals, and this is one way of making them feel as though they have the inside track.
To learn more about pocket listings, read this great article from MSN Real Estate.