What Is A Pocket Listing?

Pocket listing
Pocket listings are typically reserved for specific situations and are not usually recommended.

Have you ever heard of a house selling super fast, seemingly without ever hitting the market? That might be thanks to a little something called a pocket listing.

In the world of real estate, a pocket listing is a property that’s for sale, but kept private and not publicly marketed. Instead of being advertised on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the go-to database for agents and buyers, it gets shopped around through private networks. Imagine the agent tucking the listing away in their pocket, hence the name. Although pocket listings are not common, they are most likely to be utilized when a celebrity is involved and requests privacy. Needless to say, these are typically ultra-luxury properties where the potential pool of buyers is limited to begin with.

Pros of a pocket listing

  • Privacy: Sellers who value discretion can avoid the open house frenzy and keep their sale under wraps.
  • Exclusivity: High-end properties might attract more qualified buyers through targeted marketing.
  • Faster closing: If the agent has a buyer in mind, the sale could happen quickly.

Cons of a pocket listing

  • Limited exposure: The pool of potential buyers shrinks dramatically. You might miss out on the one person willing to pay top dollar who isn’t part of the agent’s network.
  • Ethical concerns: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) frowns upon pocket listings, as they can limit fair market competition.
  • Less leverage: With fewer buyers interested, you might have less room to negotiate on price.

MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

Although the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) discourages pocket listings, they can still be utilized in certain circumstances. In fact, the NAR previously announced the “MLS Clear Cooperation Policy” as follows:

Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public. (Adopted 11/19)

With this said, it is possible for a seller to request that their property is not listed in the MLS as addressed in Section 1.3 of this policy as follows:

Section 1.3 Exempt Listings

If the seller refuses to permit the listing to be disseminated by the service, the participant may then take the listing (office exclusive) and such listing shall be filed with the service but not disseminated to the participants. Filing of the listing should be accompanied by certification signed by the seller that he does not desire the listing to be disseminated by the service.


Ultimately, the best way to sell your home is with a strategy that gets you the most exposure and the best possible price. As always, it is best to hire a local and knowledgeable real estate agent to properly price, market, and sell your home. Of course, this strategy should ideally include listing the property on the MLS. After all, transparency and getting the most exposure are usually key ingredients for a successful home sale.

Are you thinking about selling your home in the South Florida area? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search app for your mobile device.

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.