Some stars of the sports world and local celebrities go to great lengths to keep their real estate sales discreet. I recently met with a high-profile individual who was very concerned about his family’s privacy during the sales process. Both he and his wife were interested in discussing a discreet way to sell their home.
I suggested that they explore the advantages and disadvantages of an “Exclusive Listing.” These listings may never appear on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) and are often sold through the services of one agent with very little advertising. These listings are sold through “word-of-mouth” marketing and can be attractive to high profile individuals who wish to ensure privacy.
A single agent is usually retained by the seller and given instructions not to show the property unless he can “pre-qualify” potential buyers to ensure they are in fact serious. There are usually no “open-houses” or “for sale” signs associated with an “Exclusive Listing.”
The major disadvantage to this type of marketing is that it provides a fraction of the exposure that a typical “open listing” would provide and may take longer to sell.