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Thursday, December 02, 2021
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Privacy is the ultimate commodity, and the decision to sell your home is a personal one. There are many reasons why you may want to sell a property without listing it publicly, such as a new job or relocation, family changes like marriage or divorce, evolving financial circumstances, health issues, valuable belongings like art or furniture or opposition to holding open houses. Public sales can be frustrating and time-consuming, not to mention excessively intrusive. To avoid this, you can sell “privately.”

But there are often stigmas associated with private sales. The thought usually accompanies an idea of a desperate seller looking to save on realtor fees. But, when I refer to exclusive sales, I mean private exclusive and more discreet listings that do not take the traditional MLS-listing route.

What I know from years of experience dealing in the market is that not every home needs to be listed on an MLS or have excessive advertising to receive sufficient interest from buyers. Discreet—or exclusive—sales can generate relevant interest and lead to better sales prices, which is why I encourage sellers to consider this option.

How a Private Exclusive Sale Works

Private exclusive sales tailor the selling experience to the desires of the seller. When listing exclusively, a home goes on the market without publicizing this fact. This means foregoing MLS listings, Zillow or even Facebook ads and other formats usually used to draw attention to the property. Instead, when undergoing a private exclusive sale, we tap into an existing network of buyers and realtors to find interested—and qualified buyers—who are in the market for a property just like yours.

In the beginning, the process works similarly to a regular sale and entails meeting with the owner and working through the specifics of the sale to determine basics like listing price, home features and so on. Then using this information, the real estate agent creates a private exclusive listing used to attract private buyers.

Why You Should Consider a Discrete Real Estate Sale

Not every sale needs to be exclusive or discrete, but in the circumstances where this is required, knowing that you have options that greatly benefit your sale is ideal. These are just some of the benefits you should consider if you’re reviewing this option.

Avoid Unnecessary Exposure and Prying Eyes

A “for sale” sign can be indicative of personal circumstances that you may not want to broadcast such as divorce, illness etc., or you simply don’t want selling your house being the talk of the town. If you want to preserve your privacy, you may be wary of putting up MLS listings that could lead to uncomfortable questions from neighbors, friends, coworkers or family members. As a seller, there is only one way to guarantee the process remains private, and that’s through a private exclusive sale.

Test the Market

Maybe you aren’t ready to sell your house, or maybe you just bought a house that will be under construction for the next year or won’t be move-in ready for a few months. This is the perfect opportunity for you to test the market without starting the MLS or Zillow clock. Having your house listed as a Compass private exclusive allows you to have your house on our back end for the Compass agent community to see, and show your house to already vetted and qualified buyers. By the way, agents talk to agents regardless of the company they are with; when someone knows of an “off-market” or “coming soon” listing, it is considered gold, and everyone wants it.

This is your chance to get the best offer by testing the market privately to gather key insights without your listing getting stale.

Expedite the Sale Process

When you decide to sell your property, there is plenty of preparation that goes into it. In a regular sale, with MLS listings and advertising, you’ll need to make your home more appealing—investing in upgrades and renovations that make your home more appealing on the open market. All these changes and renovations take time—the planning, budgeting and execution can delay your plans to sell by several months. Then, when your home finally reaches the market, you have to contend with only attracting a handful of interested buyers. However, discerning between the interested buyers and unscrupulous buyers usually lengthens the sale period.

With a private exclusive sale, you bypass this process. Every buyer that’s contacted about your home is interested, vetted and—if they make an offer—is more likely to follow through. You’ve also been able to bypass investing any additional capital in renovations and remodeling since you don’t have to pander to the market.

Reduce the Risk of Speculative Market Influence

When listing on an MLS, you’re introduced to several factors outside of your control. One of those factors is market influence. From the minute you list your home on an MLS, it is exposed to competition and market trends.

In some instances, an MLS listing may negatively impact the success of your sale because the longer your home is available on the market, the more opportunistic buyers you attract. This is only exacerbated by the perception that your home may not be “worth” the listed figure. When you list privately, most of the buyers don’t participate in market speculation and have already decided how much they’re willing to invest.

Circumstances Change

In life, some instances require discretion. While selling a home doesn’t often fall into that category, the times when it does, knowing you have a reasonable alternative is comforting. In

these exigent circumstances, not only can you sell your home faster and at the asking price, but you’re able to rely on a team of experienced real estate agents who treat the sale with the utmost confidentiality.


Levy Tewel is an associate real estate broker and team leader of the Tewel Team at Compass, helping sellers and buyers in Bergen County and New York City, with nearly a decade in the business, and over 1,000 closed transactions. Levy can be reached at 201-477-0117, [email protected], or TewelTeam.com.

The Compass Private Exclusive program is not available in all markets and local policy definitions may restrict how private exclusive listings can be shared between agents, even within the same brokerage. Where the program is available, pre-marketing and listing strategies are independently determined by the client. Compass does not recommend one particular strategy or guarantee results.

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