Pocket listings—also known as “whisper” and “coming soon” listings—have been popular for years among celebrities and the wealthy seeking to shield their privacy. But they increasingly are used by a broader segment as the housing market heats up and inventory remains tight.
The practice has its critics. Some agents say pocket listings are anticompetitive, preventing sellers from getting full market value. Proponents say such listings are useful if homeowners are looking for a quick sale and understand it might result in a lower price.
In this case, the owners’ agent walked four competing developers through the home one morning last summer. The developers planned to gut the five-bedroom home and turn it into a high-end condo building with several…
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