Some brokers say houses that are not posted publicly give buyers a chance to get into the market, others say the practice violates fair housing laws.
Sharelle Rosado, a broker in Tampa, said the use of pocket listings at her brokerage has increased 40 percent since the start of the pandemic.
In April, as the frenzied real estate market approached a fever pitch, Bridget Medina jumped into the fray. In doing so, she had a distinct advantage over other buyers in the market for a family home in the suburbs of New Jersey: a broker was showing her houses that had not been publicly listed.
Pocket listings, the practice of brokers selling a home through private networks rather than on the open market, have skyrocketed during the pandemic. One analysis from Redfin put the increase at 67 percent, and in some markets, it’s estimated that as many as 20 percent of all listings are now available only to buyers with the connections to hear about them in the first place.
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