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Rising home prices have left many people scrambling to find affordable housing. One solution is pocket listing, which has become popular in recent years as a way for homeowners to sell their homes quickly without offering them on the open market. However, not everyone is cut out for this type of transaction and should consider other options before deciding. Here are some things you need to know about pocket listings:

1) Pocket listings aren’t for people in a rush.

If you have your heart set on buying a home immediately, this is not the kind of transaction for you. Home sellers who use a pocket listing service often advertise their homes to just one or two realtors at major real estate companies that conduct business out of multiple branches. Since the service is also used to sell homes in a specific geographic area, it’s unlikely that you will find the home you want on the service within a few days or even weeks.

2) You need to know what you’re doing.

Just because a home is advertised on the service doesn’t mean that you will be able to buy it immediately, even if you are approved by the owner for a loan and can put together an offer. The seller might decide not to sell at all, and in some cases, the homeowner has received multiple offers, none of which were the right fit.

3) You must be prepared to act fast.

If you do find a home on the service that appeals to you and are still in the running during the time period when offers are being taken, then you need to have your real estate agent put together an offer for you immediately if there will be an advantage in doing so. The seller might not take the offer the day after it is put together, but if there are offers on the table that are higher than yours, you will need to have a quick response as well.

4) You must have a lot of patience.

If you’ve found a home through this service and are in the running to purchase it, you need to have a lot of patience. This is not the kind of transaction that will end quickly or cleanly. You might make several offers before you’re accepted or before the owner closes on another deal. There will be times when you wonder if there’s something wrong with the home and fear that it won’t sell. However, as long as you aren’t rushed or in a hurry to close the deal, this is one way that you can purchase a house with no competition and at a price that’s naturally lower than comparable homes on the market.

5) You need to be flexible.

Since pocket listings are designed for people who need to sell their homes quickly, the homeowners might accept a low offer or an offer from someone who wants to change the house. If you’re looking for something specific and aren’t interested in making any alterations to the home, this is not likely to be your best option. However, if you are flexible on price and can live with some renovations, you might be able to purchase a house with no competition for a great price and without needing to deal with open houses.