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A new era of selling homes

Date posted:  6/10/15 06:00:00 AM Real estate agents are using new measures to sell homes.

If you're an existing homeowner thinking about reentering the housing market, it might be a good time to consider how quickly you can sell your property.

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, the transaction landscape might look a bit different than the last time you were in the market. Bloomberg reported that more real estate agents are now asking sellers to disregard the multiple listing service (MLS) and let the agent barter the home privately.

Bloomberg stated that national data doesn't exist for the residential transaction happening away from the MLS, but two small surveys that looked at transactions in a few counties around the country set the bar for more than 20 percent of sales.

Steve Murray, president of the real estate consulting firm RealTrends, told Bloomberg that he anticipates private agents will start taking a bigger piece of the pie.

"Twenty percent of agents do 80 percent of the business, so why wouldn't the big agents want to work just amongst themselves?" Murray asked.

Bloomberg said there is a growing number of private agent clubs who deal among themselves. A private sale can also entail an agent bringing in a buyer and collecting the entire commission rather than splitting it with the buyer's agent. It can also imply that an agent will put a "Coming Soon" sign on a property before listing it on the MLS.

Generating buzz for a listing
Zillow recently allowed agents to post virtual "Coming Soon" signs on listings. Bloomberg reported that it helps the agents create interest about a particular listing, allowing them to see if the price is right before the property is posted on the MLS.

While agents must corroborate with pre-marketing regulations of local state rules, certain cities - such as Seattle - do not allow pre-marketing. In contrast, Zillow said that Chicago allows pre-marketing and is a common practicing for generating buzz.

Zillow said it asks agents to list a home on the MLS within 60 days of a "Coming Soon" posting. Bloomberg reported that 60 days is more than enough time for many of those homes to be purchased by then.

Zillow requires agents to list a home on the MLS within 60 days of posting it as "Coming Soon." In today's market, many homes would be snapped up by then.

"You can bet your boots that in this market where a listing is as good as cash, some agents are looking to use that as a way to double their income," Murray said.

Another new tool
A pocket listing is another way for you to sell your home, though it limits the pool of potential buyers, according to Bloomberg.

But why would people want to limit the number of people that could see their home? David Faudman, founder of the Top Agent Network, said it's often people living in luxurious homes that choose a pocket listing.

"Do you really want a lot of people walking through your home at an open house who may not even be qualified leads?" Faudman asked. "Or do you want 15 or 20 serious buyers to see the property?"

The National Association of Realtors has yet to take a stance on pocket listings, but Katherine Johnson, the group's chief legal counsel, said that maximizing the exposure of a property is typically in the buyer's best interest.

"Pocket listings have been this dirty word the last year and a half," Kevin Van Eck, a vice president at @properties, told The Chicago Tribune. "When is a property for sale? It's when a seller says it's for sale. If we're working in the best interests of our seller, it's to get the property in front of as many sets of eyes as possible."