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More on Pocket Listings, and Discrimination in Real Estate

I’ve long thought pocket listings is an opportunity that will be captured in a big way (see here as well as here for some previous writings).

discriminationOne thing I hadn’t thought through was the downside of pocket listings. It’s the same as the downside to community (a topic I think about every day).

Discrimination.

IF you take fairness off the table — ie if it no longer matters whether African Americans, Hispanics, Jews, etc have equal opportunity to get housing — there is really no need for real estate agents to exist as technology would easily enable people to find and buy real estate within their own trusted networks.

Agree, or disagree?

[Photo via http://decaturlegal.com/]

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • ThatsIt

    Realtor associations should fine realtors for pocket listings unless the sellers signs a disclosure that its to their disadvantage.

    • I still believe there is a decent segment of the population (high earners), who don’t necessary care about maximizing the price of the house. They are more concerned with privacy, speed, and minimizing risk of transaction problems…that crowd is more likely to buy/sell pocket listings.

  • “IF you take fairness off the table — ie if it no longer matters whether African Americans, Hispanics, Jews, etc have equal opportunity to get housing — there is really no need for real estate agents to exist as technology would easily enable people to find and buy real estate within their own trusted networks.”

    So, your point is that real estate agents only exist to ensure fair housing laws? Please clarify. You’re reaching.

    • I don’t think that’s the only reason professionals exist. There’s obviously value in having a trusted advocate to guide you through a transaction.

      That said, I have to imagine it would put a dent in the use of buy-side professionals on commission in markets such as Seattle, SF, NYC if a pocket listings marketplace were to reach substantial scale. Were that to happen, I think we’d see more a-la-cart work by agents and real estate attorneys to handle those transactions for buyers with access to the private marketplace of listings. Of course, were a pocket listings marketplace to exist at scale, it wouldn’t be “fair” to everyone – hence the reference to fair housing.

  • Greg Junge

    Real estate agents exist because a computer or technology can’t build a relationship and help them through the entire process. Apps and technology is great, but at the end of the day, you need a professional to give expertise instead of a formula that is technology based.

    Thanks,
    Greg Junge
    http://www.myphoenixliving.com

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