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Sometimes it seems as though the home of every Hollywood celebrity or sports star that’s for sale is featured prominently on Access Hollywood or the Wall Street Journal.
The fact is that many choose a legal, ethical and controversial way to keep photos of their homes and their asking prices secret from all but those who might be interested in buying. You’ll never see them on the popular real estate Web sites.
Virtually all real estate sites from the national aggregators like Zillow to your local real estate agent’s site are based on databases of property listings created by the nation’s 900 multiple listing services. Most of these are owned and operated by local Realtor organizations and they were first created about 150 years ago as a way for real estate brokers to share their listings and help match buyers and sellers.
For one reason or another, some listings have never been placed on multiple listing services. Homes for sale by real estate agencies that are not placed on the MLS are called pocket listings. Instead, the listing broker keeps them in his “hip pocket” and markets them outside the MLS. Some real estate brokers encourage them because if they don’t ... more

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