Hip Pocket: About the Only Way You Are Going to Find a Home in Dallas Right Now…

I’ve told you all about Hip Pockets, right? Well, get used to hearing this term more and more if you are buying a house in Dallas. Our market is not just hot, it’s sizzling. Homes are selling even before they hit MLS. Not only is that a huge status symbol for your house, but it is tickling the brokers to death as they grab both sides of the deal AND skip over a whole lot of marketing costs.

Even the FSBO’s (for-sale-by-owners) are selling: Case in point: 3516 St. Johns. Sold!

That’s why we are offering a new thingee here on CandysDirt called Hip Pocket. Our tech geniuses are busy at work creating a little box you can just fill in, but in the meantime, just send me your hip pockets much the same way you hotsheet them around your office: via email message to Candace@CandysDirt.com. Try to send a photo, too, even if you just take it with your smartypants phone.

Here’s one that was a hip pocket on March 25, now under contract:Palo Pinto

Hip pockets are homes that are marketed on the down low. They are not listed in the MLS, but the sellers will sell when presented with a contract, the right contract.

Last year, Steve Brown wrote about hip pockets for the very first time. He said the number of such off-market home deals has ballooned as the number of properties available for re-sale has declined in Dallas-area neighborhoods. Hottest areas for hip-pockets: affluent areas such as North Dallas, Highland Park and Lakewood.

Amy Detwiler, an agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, estimates that 30 percent of the sales in her office are hip-pocket transactions, and agents at other firms say it’s more like 40%. These may be buyers who want privacy, but privacy never goes hand in hand with selling something unless you have enough people in your influence sphere to find a buyer without having to go to the “common” marketplace.

“We rely on our Realtor network to get the word out for hip-pocket listings,” Karen Luter of Allie Beth Allman and Associates told Steve; most brokers have hot sheets, and they get spread around at Realtor networking groups and, increasingly, on FaceBook pages.

Well, now you can spread them here. We don’t even need addresses, just how to get in touch with the agent with the bulging hip pocket!

Hip pockets, as you know, are not for every listing. Karen’s Mary Kay Ash listing is not one to keep mum on — the more people who know about this home, the better.

(And why has the company not moved to buy it?)

“If they have a great property, they can give it a (hip pocket) shot,” she told Steve Brown. “But the property has to be very unique — it has to be best in show.”

Agents tell me that we will see more hip pocket listings because there are so few homes on the market. It is a seller’s market, no doubt, and this happens when sellers have the upper hand: they can chose to aggressively market or sit back, wait for the buyers to come to them with chilled bottles of Veuve Cliquot. The inventory stats vary across North Texas from neighborhood to neighborhood, but overall there is about a 4 month supply of inventory, less than that in hot areas such as Lakewood, Bluffview, Preston Hollow and Park Cities.

There are almost 2 million home listings in Realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors’ primary marketing site, which gets it’s listing info straight from its 850 MLS partners, North Texas included. That information is then filtered out to every agent with access, as well as the Trulias and Zillow’s who make the information available to the general public. But if you note that the info on these sites tends to be a bit old, you are correct. In a hot market like the one we currently enjoy, data can change in the 24 hours from the time the photos were uploaded to the time Zillow boys scoop up the listing.

By then, it can be sold.

For the freshest info, you need the ear of the agent. And in this market, you need a sharp agent by your side 24/7 more than at any time…

 

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