CAARE does not support Zillow’s entry into the pocket listing “marketplace.” We believe that by helping brokers advertise these pre‐MLS listings, Zillow is perpetuating a harmful practice that thrives on breaching trust, deceiving clients, and intentionally putting them in a situation of duress and then profiting from it. This pseudo‐illegal conduct does not reconcile with Zillow’s mission of transparency.
First, it needs to be understood that pocket listings take many forms. For our discussion, the biggest culprits are pocket listings that direct buyers to the listing broker and fail to offer compensation to cooperating brokers.
In almost all cases, pocket listings are harmful to consumers. They certainly do not serve their stated purpose of gauging the demand or pricing of a property before it hits the market — that is a ruse used to manipulate clients. If that were the case, putting it on Zillow would constitute “test marketing.” Putting it on Zillow is full‐blown marketing with one huge exception: Pocket listings exclude the brokerage community by refusing to share commissions. That’s bad for consumers and Realtors.
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