Secret listing fever amid US property boom

Detractors say practice of brokers selling homes through private networks aggravates inequalities

Ms Bridget Medina (with her family) found their new home in New Jersey after her broker got a tip-off.
Ms Bridget Medina (with her family) found their new home in New Jersey after her broker got a tip-off. PHOTO: NYTIMES

(NYTIMES) - As the frenzied real estate market in the United States approached a fever pitch, Ms Bridget Medina jumped into the fray. In doing so, she had a distinct advantage over other buyers in the market for a family home: 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 by brokerage Redfin put the increase at 67 per cent, and in some markets, it is estimated that as many as 20 per cent of all listings are now available only to buyers with the connections to hear about them in the first place.

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