Off-Market Homes: How to Find Pocket Listings in 2021 – Credible

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credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “ credible. ” Finding the perfective match for a new home can be bad, specially in a hot marketplace. a soon as a property goes up for sale, dozens of buyers might line up to throw in a bid .
If you ’ rhenium looking for more options, an off-market home could be the answer. These properties are privately listed, which means you could uncover a few gems in your area — and actually have a chance at buying one .
While finding off-market homes might be difficult, it’s still possible. Here’s what you need to know:

What are off-market homes?

Off-market homes are for-sale properties that aren ’ triiodothyronine listed on the multiple list service ( MLS ), which is a network of private databases where real number estate professionals help their clients browse properties .
They ’ re besides known as off-MLS listings or pouch listings, since the real estate agent keeps the list in their proverbial “ pocket. ”
Learn More: How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Home?

Why some sellers use pocket listings

With a traditional home sale, the seller might aggressively market their family to offload it a soon as possible. But with a pocket list, the seller doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate marketplace publicly .
alternatively, sellers and their agents advertise to likely buyers through other means, such as word of mouth or secret websites that limit who can see the information on the property .
While this might sound counterintuitive, there are reasons behind it. The seller might use a pouch list to :

  • Test whether buyers are interested in the property
  • Experiment with different price points
  • Maintain privacy, either for the seller or the buyer
  • Save on real estate agent commissions
  • Create a sense of exclusivity to drive up the price

Good to know: The The National Association of Realtors ( NAR ) recently voted to end the practice of scoop listings. now, real number estate agents must list a property on the MLS within one business day of marketing the home to the public. real estate agents who belong to NAR are bound to the trade affiliation ’ sulfur rules, though non-members can still work with pocket listings .

Pros and cons of off-market homes

While off-market properties have fewer buyers in the shuffle and provide more privacy for everyone involved, there are a couple of drawbacks .
Familiarize yourself with the pros and cons before seeking a secret property :


  • Less competition: When you tour an off-market listing, the seller has opened their home to a narrow pool of buyers. That means you’ll have a better chance at standing out, and the seller will consider your home offer.
  • Lower home prices: The seller might even give you a break on the selling price if they don’t have to pay a real estate agent’s commission or spend money on staging and professional photography.
  • More privacy: Because the property isn’t listed on the MLS, only you and the seller will know the home is on the market. Plus, no one can look up photos of your home online after you close the sale.


  • Skews home sale data: Because the pocket listing is private, others can’t use information (such as the sales price) when comparing properties.
  • Might create ethical concerns: The real estate agent is marketing solely to a select list of buyers, which makes it hard to tell whether they’re following anti-discrimination housing laws.
  • Dual agency might not benefit you: With some off-market sales, the listing agent also represents you. It might be hard to tell whether the agent has your best interests in mind.

Whether you ’ rhenium buying a home on the grocery store or off the market, Credible can help you compare great rates from several lenders at once. In just a few minutes, you can see prequalified rates from our partner lenders — it ’ sulfur free and won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate impact your credit mark .
Credible makes getting a mortgage easy

  • Instant streamlined pre-approval: It only takes 3 minutes to see if you qualify for an instant streamlined pre-approval letter, without affecting your credit.
  • We keep your data private: Compare rates from multiple lenders without your data being sold or getting spammed.
  • A modern approach to mortgages: Complete your mortgage online with bank integrations and automatic updates. Talk to a loan officer only if you want to.

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How to shop for off-market homes

Finding an off-market home takes a small more legwork than simply pulling up the MLS. here ’ s how to find scoop listings :

1. Work with a real estate agent

once you ’ ve chosen the neighborhood where you want to buy a base, you ’ ll indigence to contact real estate agents and ask about office exclusive listings .
The office single is an exception to NAR ’ s new policy. When agents or brokers work in the lapp real estate firm, they can share a private list with each other and commercialize the property to their respective clients one-on-one.

This allows for some privacy to the seller and buyer.
In need of a real estate agent?
credible can help you find a entrust agent with expertness in your grocery store .
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Over 90,000+ agents countrywide

Trustpilot disclosure : credible Operations, Inc. is a mortgage broker. We are not a real estate agent or agent and do not offer any real estate representation or brokerage services. All such services are provided by a accredited real estate of the realm broker who has agreed to display their services on the credible web site. These real estate brokers may receive recompense if you move advancing with their agent match overhaul.

2. Take your search online

You can besides find some off market homes for sale in newspaper classifieds or on websites such as Craigslist .
Sellers who decide not to work with a list agent can besides create a web site to market their property, or they might post the list on Zillow .
Homes listed on and, both of which are for-sale-by-owner websites, will besides appear on Redfin .
Find Out: How (and When) to Buy a House Without a Real Estate Agent

3. Get in touch with homeowners directly

If there ’ s a vicinity you ’ ra concerned in, one option is to get in touch with homeowners directly .
For case, you can post a notice on a community web site, stick a note on a populace bulletin board, send out mailers, or go door to door asking if homeowners are concern in selling .

4. Keep an eye on real estate auctions

After a bank forecloses, it can sell the home at a real estate auction .
You can find these properties through local governments, actual estate of the realm agents, and websites such as and .
Be prepared for the march, though. You won ’ metric ton be able to view the property ahead or club an inspection, and you ’ ll need to pay for the home in cash alternatively of getting a mortgage .

5. Listen to word of mouth

While off-market properties are private by nature, there are placid multiple people involved in the summons .
A local contractor, real estate agentive role, friend, or colleague might tip you off to off-market real estate in your area. Put out the give voice that you ’ rhenium looking for this type of home, and you might hear about something you like .
Finding a great mortgage pace doesn ’ t need to be nerve-racking. credible helps streamline the summons and makes comparing multiple lenders easy — you can see prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the board below in precisely a few minutes .
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About the generator
Kim Porter Kim Porter
Kim Porter is an technical in credit, mortgages, student loans, and debt management. She has been featured in U.S. News & World Report,, Bankrate, Credit Karma, and more .
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