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Pocket Listings Reach “Epidemic” Levels

In some parts of California, more than a quarter of homes go up for sale without being marketed in the multiple listing service.

(Boonton, NJ, January 30, 2014) — The surge in so-called pocket listings has created no shortage of consternation in the real estate establishment. Critics of off-MLS deals worry that agents are placing their own commissions ahead of the goal of getting the best price for sellers — and perhaps putting the entire industry at risk.

“This is not a problem. This is an epidemic,” says Robert Bailey, in the January issue of Real Estate Broker’s Insider. Bailey is chairman of MLSListings in the San Francisco Bay area and broker at Bailey Properties in Santa Cruz, CA.

With pocket listings on the rise, the California Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors are urging brokers to police off-MLS deals.

Agents should make full disclosures to home sellers, and they should also disclose pocket listings to their brokers, says CAR attorney Elizabeth Miller-Bougdanos. She says agents set themselves up for lawsuits if they take pocket listings without a full disclosure of the downsides.

“When you practice really close to that line, sometimes you can step over,” Miller-Bougdanos says. “It could be short-term gain, long-term pain.”

The full article, As pocket listings reach “epidemic” levels, experts worry about legal, ethical pitfalls, appears in the January issue of Real Estate Broker’s Insider.

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