Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Infinity

My mother owns a plot of land in southwestern Michigan.  She has been working with an agent for three years trying to sell the property...

The agent just sent her a listing agreement to sign.  The listing agreement had a section titled "Other Provisions".

Mom's "other provision" was that the "listing would not be placed into the MLS or otherwise advertised until the seller and the agent agree to do so."

The agent didn't think it would be a good idea for the property to "sit on the MLS"...


Why would anyone sign this?

A buyer for my mom's land would have to know her agent...

Seems like it cuts out a large percentage of the market, doesn't it?

Yet my Mom wants to sell.  I wonder why she hasn't...

Is this a "pocket listing"?

And how does it benefit my mom?


A Realtor you can trust.




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Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

I think your mom needs another agent or at lease a second opinion on the value of the parcel of land. Even in our rural market where things might be handled different than an urban market this does sound unusual.

May 14, 2009 11:49 PM #38
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ

I'm with the others who suggested you use the AR referral system and get Mom someone who will do right by her.

May 15, 2009 12:15 AM #39
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Time to say "bye bye agent".....what is she thinking...not much...not much marketing and I am guessing she comes from the double pop or no sale school and is about to flunk out !

May 15, 2009 12:33 AM #40
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Never keep a mother's property off the MLS and never tell her she sings out of tune. That has kept me out of trouble for years. But seriously folks, sounds like you have an old school double dippin' Realtor.

May 15, 2009 12:46 AM #41
Marcus Valdez
Berkshire Hathaway Rocky Mountain Realtors - Fort Collins, CO

Sounds like someone want to control the lake and the fish.  The only good reason to do that would be to place "pocket buyer"  and Pocket both sides.

May 15, 2009 12:50 AM #42
South Austin Real Estate Blog
Sky Realty South Austin - Austin, TX

"listing would not be placed into the MLS or otherwise advertised until the seller and the agent agree to do so." 

I have seen that on many listing agreements,  NORMALLY followed by.. a firm date when the property would be put on the MLS, the reason was giving the property owner (usually a house) time to get the house ready and staged or minor repairs made, but securing the listing for the agent. 

What your mom has is not a good thing, ask her to cancel it and re list with someone who will EARN that commission.  WIth vacant land, most land buyers know they sit on the market much longer than a home, so MLS days wouldn't be a worry.

May 15, 2009 01:11 AM #43
Karen Singbeil
Royal LePage Access Real Estate | Associate Broker | Personal Real Estate Corporation - Sicamous, BC
Living In & Selling Shuswap : Sicamous | Mara Lake

If it is listed but not on the MLS doesn't that make it an exclusive? Good for someone but probably not MOM!

May 15, 2009 01:50 AM #44
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker


Does not sound like a good deal to me.  Can you help her find a good agent to assist in selling the land?

May 15, 2009 01:59 AM #45
Mark Brian
Silver Star Real Estate LLC - Anderson, SC
Anderson SC Realtor

Why would an agent want to hamper their efforts to sell it? Your mother needs to run away from this person and their tactics.

May 15, 2009 02:00 AM #46
Caren Wallace
Premier Property Group LLC - Tualatin, OR
Portland Caren Real Estate

Ken, I say pick a new agent who is full time and really wants to sell real estate and not just list it!

May 15, 2009 02:31 AM #47
Mark Watterson
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Real Estate

Sounds like you need to call the listing agent and get all the facts.  Once you have them then you simple do what is in the best interest of the client (in this case your mom).

May 15, 2009 02:33 AM #48
Norma Brandsberg
Marks Realty Co. Inc., Lynchburg, VA, 540-586-9496 - Forest, VA

Yes, a pocket listing. Why is the agent doing this? Do they think the property is overpriced? Sounds like your Mom or maybe you need to have a conversation with here. I would consider another agent.

May 15, 2009 03:17 AM #49
Marc Blasi
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

It doesn't matter what you call it - it's a stupid way of doing business (NOT doing it actually!) -

My best to your Mom - get a new Agent for her FAST!

May 15, 2009 05:57 AM #50
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Ken!
This sounds like an agent wanting to double end the sale...DON'T DO IT!!!!

May 15, 2009 11:48 AM #51
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Rather than rushing to conclusions, maybe this was a simple typo the listing agent made.  Maybe this agent has a lot of buyers for raw land.

May 15, 2009 02:32 PM #52
Christianne O'Malley
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

I'm not a fan of listings that do not go in the MLS. If the listing agent is advertising, then technically it's not a pocket listing, but it certainly smells that way. As listing agents, aren't we supposed to get attention for properties...which generate showings....which generate offers?

I doubt any vehicle does a better job of 'advertising a property for sale' than the MLS where every agent looks to find properties for clients. I know when I'm looking for properties I don't drive around writing down signs and addresses, or look through endless pubs to find just the right property.

May 16, 2009 02:12 AM #53
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Ken -- I would immediately fire that agent, and go to the broker and demand to be released.  While a contract is a contract, I would take that up with the state division of real estate.  I also would never sign a listing agreement longer than 1 month for vacant land.

May 16, 2009 03:05 AM #54
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

In my area, land very often takes years to sell. We have remote parcels in very sloooooowly developing areas.

I've had a large parcel listed for 7 years - 12-18 months at a time and we formally renew. It is 4 miles from any utilities but 1/2 mile off historic Route 66.

It's been in escrow twice and both times fell out because of 'circumstance' (one time, the buyers decided to divorce and neither would relinquish their interest nor share it!) HA

It will sell but it will take time, money and at least 6 months of due diligence.

The owner's a NV broker and out of country a lot. So he is good with the arrangement, And it's in MLS, NLS and all over the internet . . . with a huge sign . . . :) 

I personally have a parcel listed with an AZ out of area broker 2 years now. 1 year at a time listing. They're gonna take a while and I don't want the agents to have to renew me constantly. They keep me posted. I'll renew until it sells probably. The agents are doing a good job.

It's always interesting to see how RE is done differently all over the world. I love this topic and post!


May 16, 2009 03:38 AM #55
Ken Tracy
Keller Williams Realty Infinity - Naperville, IL
Helping clients buy and sell since 2005

Wow.  A Feature and 54 comments!  Pretty cool.

Thanks for reading and voicing your opinions.

I have sent this post to Mom and am sure she enjoyed your responses...

Thanks again.

It is a beautiful day to sell a home.


May 17, 2009 10:02 AM #56
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

I did a pocket listing recently.  We had a home that we were considering selling, but didn't want to alarm the neighbors.  We put it up in a pocket listing since the house was near a house on a luxury home tour.  We had good results and eventually found someone to rent it.  It worked perfectly for us, but I'm sure that we're the exception and not the rule.

May 19, 2009 04:26 AM #57
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Ken Tracy

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