Value of NetworkingAre there a lot of off-MLS, secret sales in Silicon Valley?  In my experience, there are some, but not very many.  For real estate agents with buyers seeking a hard-to-find house, networking can be one method of locating the off MLS property – and probably the most important one.

Why do some sellers chose to sell their homes off the multiple listing service, out of public view?  And why do some agents want them to do it?

Many home owners are afraid that if they put their house on the market at their desired price, it won’t sell AND, worse yet, will become a “stale listings” with long “days on the market”.  By offering it privately, by word of mouth only, if the house doesn’t sell, there’s not so much harm done.  There’s no public DOM.  They can always go on the market publicly later, they reason.

What these sellers don’t know, though, is what they may be losing if they do take an offer that comes to them privately.  They won’t have seen what the maximum exposure might do for them.

Some Silicon Valley Realtors push their sellers to first offer the home privately (perhaps with their agent holding it open, even), then if it doesn’t sell that way, go onto the MLS and make it public.

Should it sell privately, especially through an open house, there’s a very good chance that the listing agent will also represent the seller (or “double end the deal”).  Who is benefiting the most here?

Conversely, those real estate licensees who sell a significant percentage of their listings ‘off market’ also tell potential buyers that they have a secret inventory – that’s their special sauce, their point of distinction. There’s drama and intrigue there, but at the end of the day, the big question is this: did their sellers net the most possible, or did they have a less risky sale that most likely netted them less – but increased their Realtor’s paycheck?

Networking can also be a huge help when there are problems to be solved.  There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel!  Whether new or highly seasoned, no licensee or broker knows it all and most can benefit significantly by discussing problematic real estate situations with others who may have been down that path before.  When that happens, you, the client, benefit not just from what your own agent knows, but what she or he can tap into as well.

Smart, experienced Realtors don’t have to work in a vacuum, but they can learn about hidden inventory and potential problem solvers by staying in touch with the agents and offices which are most active in the desired markets. That’s networking.  It can help buyers and sellers both if their Realtor reaches out to others in the local real estate community to find out who knows what, who’s selling what or who needs to buy what.   When you interview your potential Realtors, be sure to ask them about the role networking plays in their day to day work.

  1. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,372 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,532 sqft
  2. 1 bed, 1 bath
    Home size: 656 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,197 sqft
  3. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,584 sq ft
    Lot size: 10,201 sqft
  4. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,380 sq ft
    Lot size: 923 sqft
  5. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,164 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,177 sqft
  6. 3 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,035 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,919 sqft
  7. 6 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,388 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,378 sqft
  8. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,348 sq ft
    Lot size: 1,650 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 2,236 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,039 sqft
  10. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 3,008 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,324 sqft
  11. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,300 sq ft
    Lot size: 4,883 sqft
  12. 6 beds, 6 baths
    Home size: 4,486 sq ft
    Lot size: 16,622 sqft
  13. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,499 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,019 sqft
  14. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,014 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,812 sqft
  15. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,517 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,987 sqft
  16. 2 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 908 sq ft
    Lot size: 461 sqft
  17. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,956 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,893 sqft
  18. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,782 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,599 sqft
  19. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,987 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,680 sqft
  20. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,507 sq ft
    Lot size: 5,614 sqft

See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 6/17/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.


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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
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Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history
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Mary’s Blog Awards
Top 25 real estate blogs of 2018 by RentPrep2018's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow

Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.

Best Realtor blog award
2016: Coastal Group OC's list of best Realtor blogs

The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers

Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.

Non blog award

Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
"Best real estate agent
in Silicon Valley"

2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News