National Association of Realtors (NAR) Bans Pocket Listings

During its annual convention earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) voted to ban the practice of pocket listings. Pocket listings are listings which are withheld from the MLS, thereby denying other Realtors (and agents who are not Realtors) from showing and selling the listings. The rule goes into effect on January 1, 2020, but NAR is giving MLSs until May 1st to fully implement it.

Regular readers of this column know that I have long decried the practice of selling listings without putting them on the MLS. Doing so increases the chances of the listing agent “double-ending” the sale, resulting in twice the commission, but it also runs the risk of netting less money for the seller, thereby violating the ethical and legal requirement that listing agents work in the best interest of their sellers instead of themselves.

Perhaps you saw me quoted on page 10A of last Thursday’s Denver Post as welcoming this new rule. As I stated to reporter Aldo Svaldi, the only way to guarantee the highest price for our sellers is to expose their listings to the full market of potential buyers, which is only done by putting the home on the MLS. When the listing agent convinces a seller to accept an offer before their home is put on the MLS, there is no way of knowing how much money the seller will “leave on the table.”

The purpose of an MLS is to provide “cooperation and compensation.” Members of an MLS must allow (cooperate with) any other member of the MLS to sell their listing and makes it known how they’ll be compensated — in our market, typically 2.8% of the sale price.

The new policy, called “clear cooperation,” is spelled out in the following motion passed by a 91% to 9% vote of the NAR board of directors:

“Within one business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public-facing websites, brokerage website displays, digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.”

I can provide an example from my own practice. In November 2018 I listed a home for $1.1 million. Even before I put it on the MLS, a close friend of the seller said he would pay full price. The seller wanted to accept it, but my advice was to consider the friend’s offer the “opening bid” and to proceed with exposing the home to other buyers by putting it on the MLS.

Five days after putting the home on the MLS, bidding had driven up the price significantly and it sold (to the same friend) for $75,000 above full price. The seller was delighted, and so was the buyer, who only asked that his friend match the highest bid.

I could easily have made a quick commission and saved myself the chore and expense of marketing the home and managing competing offers, but I would have been violating my duty to the seller and, it turns out, cost my seller a lot of money.  I particularly like that, when all was said and done, the seller netted the full listing price, even after deducting commissions and the other costs of selling!

It will be interesting to see how this rule against pocket listings is implemented by MLSs and how effective it will be. One work-around we can expect is that listings will go on the MLS with the notation that “showings begin on such-and-such a (later) date.”

One of our broker associates, Chuck Brown, attended the NAR convention, including a panel of the titans of real estate — from Realogy, RE/MAX International, Zillow, Opendoor, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, and others — and they, unlike the board of directors, were mostly against the new policy on pocket listings.  Zillow and Opendoor, in particular, say they’ll continue to list properties as “coming soon.”

Clearly the new rule will restrict but probably not eliminate the practice.  REcolorado’s Rules & Regulations Committee, on which I have served for over a decade, will discuss it on Dec. 10th. Expect a follow-up on this subject!

Great Development Opportunity in Sunnyside!

This small 1950s  bungalow at 4260 Osage St. in northwest Denver’s dynamic Sunnyside neighborhood is zoned for a duplex and is a prime development opportunity. It’s a 15-minute walk or 4-minute drive to the new light rail station at 41st and Fox, with easy access to downtown, I-70, I-25 and the red-hot Highlands neighborhood. There are few undeveloped corner lots in the area, so grab this one while you can! Offered at $600,000.

Call Chuck Brown at 303-885-7855 for more info or visit this home’s web page.

Just Listed: Awesome Home in the Foothills Above Boulder

Nowadays, it’s rare to find a Boulder home this special on the market for less than $1 million.  This fabulous home at 1670 Timber Lane is located in coveted Pine Brook Hills, 4 miles northwest of downtown Boulder and the Pearl Street mall. It’s a 4-bedroom, 3-bath ranch-style home with walk-out basement and 3,793 finished square feet of living space on 1 acre. It has  a 2-car attached garage and a ramp making it wheelchair accessible. It was just listed by Chuck Brown for $998,000.  Enjoy the best of both worlds here — in the wooded foothills but close to the restaurants and nightlife of Boulder. You’ll love the view of city lights from the recently rebuilt wraparound deck. Take a narrated video tour of the home at www.Boulder-Home.info, then come to Chuck’s open house this Saturday, Sept. 21st, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Or call Chuck at 303-885-7855 for a private showing.

Just Listed: Home & Studio with 40-Year-Old Gardens

This house is owned by a woodworker and his artist wife. It was just listed at $725,000 by Chuck Brown. Every room in the house at 6404 Benton Street in Arvada features his handywork in alder, oak, cherry and other woods and her artistic touches. The updated kitchen and bathrooms also feature quartz countertops. I can’t do justice to this home in the limited space available here, so please go to www.ArvadaMasterpiece.info for a narrated video walk-through of this 1,585-sq.-ft. 1½-story Cape Cod home, its 1,800-sq.-ft. studio building, and detached 2-car garage with attic, not to mention the 2/3-acre lot with four-season gardens!  This home is a must-see for anyone interested in urban gardening as well as those in need of workshop/studio space with 240-Volt power, and anyone who loves great woodworking! Open Sat. & Sun, Sept. 7 & 8, from 11 to 2.   Call Chuck Brown, 303-885-7855, for more info or to arrange a private showing.

Just Listed: Updated 19th Century Home in Five Points

Originally built in 1890, this home at 2512 Clarkson Street was remodeled in 2015, adding a second half-story with master suite and roof top deck offering views of downtown Denver. It was just listed for $750,000.

In effect, the entire house was brand new in 2015, except for its brick shell. It has another master suite on the main floor. You’ll like the modern finishes and exposed brick, and the 2-car detached garage. There’s a main-floor office which could be used as a third bedroom. The laundry is on the main floor. You’ll also like the high ceilings with recessed lighting. The home is on an awesome block just a few doors from the Five Points Plaza and Welton Street light rail. It’s also close to River North, City Park, Coors Field, PSL and St. Joseph Hospitals, and of course downtown. It has a low-maintenance backyard that’s great for entertaining, with a large deck. Open house Saturday, Aug. 17, 11-3.  Listed by Chuck Brown. Video at www.FivePointsHome.info.

2-Bedroom Arvada Townhome Just Listed by Chuck Brown

This magnificent townhome at 5242 Union Court #3 in Arvada is located a short walk from the Ward Road G Line light rail station, not far from I-70. It was just listed for $398,000. This home is a stunner and was completely remodeled for the current owner with high-end finishes throughout. The first floor features a great room, large kitchen with bar counter, and a powder room.  The second level features a large living room with custom fireplace surround, skylights, and the master bedroom with a gorgeous tiled bathroom. In the basement you will find a guest bedroom, another living room, laundry room and  3/4 bath. There is an outdoor patio at the front of the unit with brick wall surround and custom metal gate. It has a 1-car attached garage. To view this exceptional townhome and all of its custom upgrades, check out the narrated video tour at www.ArvadaTownhome.info, then call your agent or Chuck Brown at 303-885-7855 for a showing. Chuck will hold it open Saturday, July 13, 11am to 3pm.

Lookout Mountain 2-Story Has Walk-Out Basement

This 2-story home with walkout basement at 494 Mount Vernon Circle is in the Paradise Hills neighborhood, less than one mile from I-70. It was just listed for $825,000.

It is perched high on a hillside with terrific views of Mt. Vernon Canyon and beyond. The interior was updated last month with refinished hardwood floors, new paint, and new Stainmaster carpet with a lifetime transferrable warranty. This home shows really well! The main floor features a large master suite with 5-piece bath and walk-in closet, a great room with gas fireplace, vaulted ceilings and large south-facing windows, and a study with connected 3/4 bathroom which could serve as a second main-floor bedroom. Upstairs you’ll find a large loft and two guest bedrooms sharing a full bath. The walkout basement has a bedroom, 3/4 bathroom, recreation room, and a large storage room which could be made into another office or workshop.  View a narrated video tour on the MLS or at www.ParadiseHillsHome.info, then call your agent or broker associate Chuck Brown at 303-885-7855 for a private showing.  Open on Saturday, May 18th, 11 to 3.

4-BR Mid-Century Modern Home in Paradise Hills Just Listed by Chuck Brown

Looking for an opportunity to purchase a large home in the foothills to make your own?  It was just listed at $725,000. This custom ranch-style home with walkout basement is at 266 Lamb Lane in Paradise Hills near Genesee and is only 25 minutes from downtown Denver. The home features 4,313 finished square feet with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 fireplaces, 3 living rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, dramatic foothills views from every room, and 1965 mid-century modern architecture that is sure to impress. Major improvements include a new roof (in 2017) and 2 new boilers (in 2008). There is too much to mention in this space, so be sure to view the video tour at www.FoothillsHome.infoOpen house is Saturday, April 27th, 11 am to 2 pm.  Call Chuck Brown at 303-885-7855 to schedule a showing.

Affordable Aurora Condo Listed by Chuck Brown

This second floor, 2-bedroom, 1-bath condominium at 13824 E. Lehigh Avenue #H is located  east of Parker Road near Cherry Creek State Park and next to the 5th tee box of the scenic Meadow Hills Golf Club. Inside you’ll find many recent updates including kitchen appliances, furnace, central air conditioner, water heater, gas fireplace and windows. From the deck you can relax and enjoy the sunsets over the Front Range mountains or watch the seasons change on the golf course. Without a doubt this unit has the best location in the entire complex! See more pictures and take a narrated video tour of this  property at www.AuroraCondo.info, then call your agent or Chuck Brown at 303-885-7855 for a private showing. 

Open Saturday, April 20th, from 11am to 3pm.

Charming Lakewood Tudor Near Belmar & O’Kane Park Just Listed by Chuck Brown

DSC_0463.JPGThis brick Tudor at 6585 W. 2nd Ave. will win the heart of any fan of great architecture.  Built in 1945, it has its own well for both irrigation and household use — a great savings over public water. The entire second floor is a fabulous master suite. The basement is a mother-in-law suite with its own entrance and kitchen. The roof is new (2017) and the home is updated with brand new (2018) electrical service, central air conditioning, furnace, water heater and well pump. It has a detached 2-car garage. The location is great, too — on a quiet street close to Belmar and 6th Avenue expressway, and 1/2 block from O’Kane Park.  For a narrated video tour of this great home, inside and out, visit its website at www.LakewoodHome.info. Then call Chuck at 303-885-7855 for a private showing. Open Saturday, June 16th, 11 to 2. Listed at $430,000.