Hot Gossip in Real Estate


by Roberta Murphy

Pssst…Have you heard the latest real estate buzz in San Diego? How about pocket listings in Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Costa or Rancho Santa Fe?

Real Estate Gossip
Real Estate Gossip

I wrote about this subject a few years ago on another forum and raised the ire of a few agents along with the interest (and agreement) of others. As for me, I enjoyed this disussion and have paid much closer attention to the frequency with which productive gossip occurs in my own professional life as a San Diego real estate broker.

The results are interesting. In the past, I have heard whispers of:

1)  A pocket listing for a prime rental. It won’t hit the San Diego MLS for several months.
2)  Several murmers about what sellers of certain properties will really accept (but wont allow in the MLS).
3)  What a particular lender will likely accept on a particular prime short sale in Carlsbad, Ca (wow!).
4)  Who recently purchased a San Diego coastal golf frontage home, and will likely take less than what they paid for that home in order to get the San Diego beach home they   really want (Source? A neighbor).
5) Which Carlsbad beach property had two unsolicited offers before it ever hit the market?

As a former news reporter, I have no problem asking folks both probing and casual questions. Over the years, I also have learned the importance of:

1) Ferociously guarding our sources of information when necessary.
2) Protecting the privacy of our real estate clients.
3) Never making personal attacks.
4) Never writing, and seldom speaking, in blind anger. Sleep on the situation first.
5) Adhering to my own strict code of ethics, as well as that of the National Association of Realtors.

And finally, a note to those who think I advocate the withholding of information from the MLS to the detriment of my clients:

That is never the case.

No agent has the authority to post a pocket listing to the MLS. A signed agreement is needed to do so. Nor would I ever advise an agent (or self) to withhold critical information from the MLS or from a buyer/seller.

As agents, we always have the obligation to disclose pertinent information to and on behalf of our clients. But I can’t tell you the number of times I have had clients ask me not to publicize their divorce, pending move, financial difficulties, or illnesses in the MLS. And prior to quietly sharing any of this information with other agents, I always get permission from our client to do so. To do otherwise would be an absolute breach of trust.

Even so, there is always the natural flow of chatter, discussion (and gossip!!!) that occur among real estate professionals day in and day out. It is no different from attorneys, physicians or stock brokers who work together in their respective professions.

There is an ongoing and daily exchange of both important and trivial information being passed from one Realtor to another. And if I were a buyer or seller of real estate, I would certainly want to deal with an agent who was well-connected with his or her professional peers.

Finally, I have yet to meet a client whose ears didn’t perk up at the mere mention of real estate gossip.