Mortgage Basics #Home Buying

What is a Pocket Listing? Exclusive Listings in Canada


Major competition and bidding wars have been a reality for many Canadians buying property throughout the pandemic. So, what if there was a way to view listings off-market? That’s where pocket listings – also known as exclusive listings – come into play. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about this unique type of listings below.


Key Takeaways

  • A pocket listing is a home that’s sold without being made public – shown only to select buyers with heightened interest potential
  • Two popular ways pocket listings are made available are by offering the property to family and friends or having your real estate agent use industry connections to align you with possible buyers
  • Selling your home as a pocket listing means that people viewing your property are much more likely to make a purchase based on the type of home and/or location

What is a pocket listing?

A pocket listing is a home that’s sold without being made public through the multiple listing service (MLS). In other words, pocket listings are shown privately to select people and not widely marketed like a traditional listing for a home that’s on the market.

How do pocket listings work?

The two most popular ways that pocket listings are made available are by offering the property to family and friends or having your real estate agent use their industry connections to align you with possible buyers.

Note: Typically, only one listing agent will be finding buyers for your pocket listing, which may also mean the home could take longer to sell

Why sellers use pocket listings

As a seller, deciding to sell your home as a pocket listing means that there won’t be the typical constant parade of buyers and real estate agents viewing your property. Instead, the people who set up a viewing for your pocket listing are much more likely to be in the market for your specific type of home and location. You may also be able to save time and money by not having to stage your home to attract buyers.

If your home is a unique and/or expensive property that will only appeal to specific buyers, a pocket listing won’t advertise how long your property is on the market, which could be a deterrent for buyers if they’ve seen it has been listed a long time and wonder what’s holding people back from making a purchase.

Important: Since a pocket listing is a private sale, there will be fewer people submitting offers or bidding for your home. This means that pocket listings can sell for less than the home’s true market value

How to find pocket listings

The best way to find pocket listings is through a local real estate agent who has a lot of contacts/connections. They’ll often hear of pocket listings from their own clients or other real estate agents who have clients interested in selling off-market.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are pocket listings legal in Canada?

Yes. You’re not required to sell your property publicly by listing it through the multiple listing service (MLS).

Are pocket listings good deals?

In sellers’ markets where bidding wars are commonplace, a pocket listing can save you money. They’re also helpful when you’re looking for a specific type of home in a certain price range. 


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