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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.

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(all data current as of 6/19/2021)

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