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What are pocket listings?


The MLS cooperative, or multiple listing service (MLS), allows members to provide homebuyers more choices and to give sellers more opportunities to sell their homes. Members agree to share their listings with other members within a reasonable time, typically between 24 hours to a week after the listing agreement is signed between the seller and the broker.

Marketing a home takes time and preparation for the seller and the listing broker. The seller needs time to prepare the home for sale - declutter, paint, plant fresh flowers, repair fences, stage the home and so on. The listing broker needs time to present the listing to the MLS with photos, tours, descriptions, tax roll data and showing information.

Until the listing agreement is signed, the home stays “in the pocket” of the broker, who is free to contact trusted agents and their own qualified buyers and tell them the home is coming to the market.

Why are pocket listings useful? The broker can sell the listing before competitors learn the home is available. The broker’s buyers benefit because they have the first opportunity to view the home and make an offer. Sellers can get their homes sold quickly.

So how does a buyer hear about a pocket listing? A broker will reveal a pocket listing only to a buyer who is qualified to buy that particular home and understands the home isn’t show-ready or on the open market. The buyer must be prepared to act quickly and make an offer that is attractive enough for the seller to accept.


More questions? We are prepared to answer them!



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Alex Johnson

Chattanooga, TN

What a great team. So helpful, professional, and friendly.​ 

I'll be recommending the Edrington Team to everyone I know!​

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