Some DFW Homes Sell on the Down Low

"Hip-pocket" homes skip the open market

A trend in the fast-moving Dallas-area real estate market is to opt out of the market altogether.

Some sellers are choosing to avoid the typical route of listing their home, sharing dozens of photographs online and hosting an open house. Instead, they choose to sell their property in a more hush-hush manner.

Realtors call them hip-pocket properties.

"Some people feel like it gives their property a more exclusive feeling," said Stacey Beckham Lake, a realtor with Ebby Halliday. "Some people have privacy issues, and they don’t want their neighbors to know they’re selling their house. And some just don’t want to allow a lot of people into their home to see it."

To sell a house as a hip-pocket listing, a seller’s agent will tell other agents who have prospective clients about property. And only a select few will be given the option to see and bid on the home.

Lake told NBCDFW she never advises clients to sell their home as a hip-pocket, although she understands the reasoning some have.

"I totally get it," Lake said.

However, Lake emphasized that her duty to her sellers is to get the best possible price for their home. And she firmly believes that is done by putting the house on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and allowing the house to be seen by the largest possible audience.

Given the speed at which some homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area sell — some homes in particularly popular areas are on the market for a matter of hours — Lake noted that she can understand the frustration of buyers and their agents who miss out on prime properties that they never knew were for sale.

"It is frustrating to think, ‘Oh my gosh. I didn’t even know that was available,'" Lake said. "That would have been the perfect house, the perfect neighborhood. If I had known, my buyer would have done anything to get that house."

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