The Columbus housing market is buzzing. We are short on real estate listings. Buyers fight for every home that hits the multiple listing service (MLS). We are in a Sellers Market.

Many suburban Dublin homes go in contract in less than a week.

I experienced it myself. Three of my recent listings received multiple offers within days of hitting the market. In less than 7 days all 3 sellers had good contracts in their hands.

Some Listings go in Contract in a Single Day

You probably wonder how this is possible?

Most buyers wants to see the inside of a home before they make an offer. It usually takes a day to schedule a showing, get inside, type a contract up, then submit the contract to the Seller and have them accept it.

It’s nearly impossible to do it all within 24 hours.

If a house was on the market for only 1 day, we are probably talking about a so-called “pocket listing.”

Pocket listings are homes the owner prepares for sale. The listing Realtor may have an agreement with a seller to market the house, but did not sign the listing agreement, yet.

That agent may tell other Realtors about the upcoming listing, but does not publish it on the MLS.

Why Some Realty Firms Like Pocket Listings

In today’s sellers market, buyers line up to get first dips even before a property is officially on the listing because there’s a strong demand for homes.

There are rumors that larger realty firms use this tactic to keep both sides of a transaction in house.

Agents who have a new lead for a listing offer it inside their firm first, in hopes of finding an agent with a qualified buyer. Thus both sides of the transaction and both commissions stay inside the firm.

Are Pocket Listings Ethical?

You be the judge. As Realtors it is our responsibility to market a property to the widest audience, which can only be done on the MLS.

According to the Columbus Board of Realtors a property for sale needs to be on the MLS within 24 hours of the signing the listing agreement. The listing agent cannot officially market the property until both the client and agent agree to sign a listing agreement.

However, they can announce it as an upcoming listing.

Some sellers prefer an extended pre-listing period to maintain privacy. If only a limited number of real estate agents know about a home for sale and it’s not published on the MLS, a homeowner may keep the sale under wraps until a contract is signed.

How can you get access to pocket listings in a tight sellers market?

The best way to get to pocket listings is to work with a real estate agent who is well connected. Agents that attend local association meetings (that’s the place where upcoming listings are announced) and actively work with other Realtors are your best bet.

Prepare yourself to offer close to asking price. Sellers will not discount pocket listings. They rather open them up to more potential buyers on the MLS.

Finally, you must have a solid pre-approval letter or cash to buy the property. It is unlikely that a seller will accept a conditional offer before the home hits the open market.

If you decide to work with me, you will benefit from my network in the local Dublin and Northwest Columbus real estate market. Our firm actively involves all local Realty Associations. Our title firms and lenders provide valuable leads and connections that will benefit you tremendously.

When you work with me, you get access to a professional network that has been formed and validated through hundreds of successful transactions. And there’s  a good chance you may find a pocket listing before it hits the MLS.