The Real Deal New York

Whisper listings rise in popularity in city’s tight market

January 29, 2014 02:45PM

“Hidden” apartment sales are on the rise in New York City, as the ranks of sellers who don’t want their homes listed anywhere turn to brokers who will keep the publicity to a minimum.

Also known as “pocket listings,” “off-market deals” or “whisper listings,” such low-key sales are increasingly popular in the city’s tight housing market. Some sellers fear the perceived staleness of a home that sits on the market for too long, while others simply want to maintain their privacy.

Such sales can be a challenge for brokers however, since representing both buyer and seller is frowned upon by the real estate community — and violates the Real Estate Board of New York’s co-broking rules for members.

Nabbing the highest possible price can also be tricky for low-key listings, as fewer eyeballs means fewer viewers and less price tag-lifting competition.

“Usually to get the highest price it behooves them to bring it to market,” Jessica Cohen, a Douglas Elliman broker, told DNAinfo. But, she added, “Our hands are tied in bringing it to market because we can only do what the seller is willing [to do].” [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland