It’s Not For Sale, At Least Not Officially.
On a prestigious block in the West Village in a prewar doorman building, the four-bedroom three-bath apartment has been completely renovated and is large enough for a young family. But there is a hitch. It’s not listed, but it’s definitely for sale.
Ms. Ball, who is married and has three children, is interested in selling her apartment, but she is not interested in putting it on the market. She is one of a small group of owners, who, often working closely with brokers they know from past deals, try to avoid the hassle of showing their homes by letting it be known that for the right price, they would be ready to move on.
Among brokers, such a transaction — in which a seller informally engages a broker but doesn’t sign a contract — is referred to as a “pocket deal.” If the broker finds a buyer, he or she will be paid a commission, but there will be no online listings, open houses or advertising of the property.
What the seller wants from the arrangement is a buyer who can meet the asking price, ideally in cash, and be ready to act quickly. Brokers say these deals — happening all across Manhattan, Southern and Northern California and Silicon Valley- are interesting more sellers these days.
There are many reasons a seller might take the pocket-deal route. Some are afraid that if they list their home and it does not sell for weeks or even months, it will be considered tarnished. Others fear that with buyers expecting bargains, they will be besieged with low-ball offers. Some do not want to keep their homes primped and primed for constant showings. Still others know that potential buyers often fail to get financing at the last minute, thus wasting months.
Some brokers say pocket sales are increasing because listings for desirable inventory are low. Inventory shrank after a small boomlet last spring, when many owners accepted the reality of the market, priced their apartments accordingly and saw them sell. This year, it seems, many of those listing their homes believe the market has recovered more fully than it actually has, and are overpricing their properties.
Full article here.
Source: NYTimes Real Estate