By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate.com
Pocket listings might be the hottest controversy in real estate today. That's because many home sellers are attracted to the perceived benefits of selling a house outside of the brokers' multiple-listing service, or MLS. But the practice has some significant downsides for sellers as well.
Traditionally, the term "pocket listing" referred to a situation in which a property seller and real estate broker signed a listing agreement that allowed the broker to offer the property for sale, but keep the information out of the MLS and, figuratively, keep the information in his or her pocket. Nowadays, the term is sometimes used more broadly to refer to properties that are offered for sale without a listing agreement or use of the MLS.