Some homeowners opting to keep quiet hoping they'll get a good price for their home

Sellers skip MLS, looking for buyers

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Shirley Ellerin hopes to find a buyer for her home without listing it on the Multiple Listing Service. 

"I need control selling my house, and the privacy," says Ellerin.

It's called a "Whisper Listing" or "Pocket Listing". Realtors find buyers without letting everyone know the home is up for sale. 

"We don't really want people who just want to look at the house just to see it, there's a lot of lookers out there and we want serious buyers only," said Boca Raton Realtor Barbara Penn.

It narrows the pool of buyers, often forcing sellers to be patient. But they hope that patience will pay off. 

"Maybe there's someone out there not working with a realtor that'll pay a higher dollar amount for the property," said Bill Richardson, a managing broker with Keyes Realtors.

Penn says she's handled three whisper listings in the last six months. 

"I'll work with buyers and I know about a home not on the MLS, they say what they're looking for an I know a seller, it works perfectly," said Penn.

It's hard to put a number on how many whisper listings are out there, because they're kept secret. Realtors say they are more prevalent when inventory is low.

"The last 6-7 years were impossible to do a whisper listing because there were no buyers out there, now inventory is low, only a few homes on the market," said Penn.

Shirley is hoping the word of mouth method will get her a price she feels her home of 15 years is worth. 

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