When it comes time to list your luxury house on the market there are many parts that may give you hesitation. Not least of which, imagining all the people walking through your home just to see it. Or the people showing up to open houses just because you live in a luxury home. Instead of listing homes publicly, a new trend has arisen in the luxury real estate market. Private listing.



What Is Private Listing?



Private listing is the act of putting your house up for sale without listing it to the public. You still use a real estate agent but the agent handles your listing differently. Instead of announcing it to the world, they announce it to a group of select agents. These agents then become aware of the house and know that it is up for sale.



Some refer to these listings as word of mouth listings or whisper listings. They are not to be confused with private sales. A real estate agent is still involved and the owner is not working directly with the buyer, similar to a normal sale in that aspect.



Most agents who offer private listing will start by making the listing known to agents within their company. Then they will send the listing to agents they know in the area and trust. Sometimes agents will use private networks to communicate a new private listing. One such network is the Top Agent Network. The Top Agent Network is a group of the top 10% of all real estate agents in 34 of the countries most popular markets.



Why Would You Want To List Privately?



For many the biggest benefit is that their house stays off the Multiple Listing Service. That means it is not out there for the world to find as a house for sale listing. A lot of people value their privacy and this helps them to ensure that they get it. This also prevents the listing from becoming stagnant on the MLS network, which can happen during down times in the luxury real estate market.



Imagine being a movie star, politician, millionaire, billionaire, etc. and having information posted about your home publicly. This could lead to a lot of intrusions into your privacy.



Another big benefit is that you limit yourself to only qualified buyers when you list privately. People don’t just show up at your home to walk through the house. Your agent and the ones that they trust will only show it to serious buyers who have the means to make the sale a possibility.



Often times those who sell through private listing also end up selling their properties at a higher amount then those who do not have their property listed. This comes from being able to have private negotiations and from the fact that it isn’t shown on MLS. Further, any price cuts, time on the market, and other information isn’t readily available to buyers, making the listing seem more appealing.



When you turn to private listings there is less pressure to sell. You can sell your house on your own time while you look for the perfect home to buy. Less pressure is always a nicer experience.



Arguments Against Private Listings



Private listings often end up having a higher commission fee. In order to sell a house that is on a private listing, the real estate agent has to do a fair amount more work. The only way the property gets out there is through word of mouth and working with other agents. Private listings aren’t available on websites such as Zillow or Redfin.



Because less information is available publicly about houses on the private market, the process is far from transparent. You may have a lot of questions about a potential house that may not be answered right away. There are sometimes underhanded dealings that arise in the private listing market.



Despite the two major downsides of private listing, many are drawn to this way of listing their homes. Luxury homes tend to draw a lot of attention when they go on the market. Even luxury condos can draw a fair amount of attention. In order to ensure privacy and have a better home selling experience, many choose to sell only on the private market.