Given today’s celebrity-obsessed culture, many stars of the entertainment and sports worlds are now going to great lengths to keep things quiet when putting their high-end homes up for sale. According to the Los Angeles Times, such tactics as “pocket listing” and selling under the name of a trust are being employed to keep the hard-charging celebrity media and others at bay.
Real estate agents that work with high-end properties told the Times celebrities more than ever are using “word-of-mouth marketing”, or pocket listing, instead of using online marketplaces like Realtor.com, Multiple Listing Service, or others.
One example given is the home of Madonna located in Beverly Hills. It is well-known among the deep-pocketed that the pop singer’s 16,500 square-foot mansion is currently for sale with an asking price of $28 million. However, you won’t find it listed on anything that is accessible to the general public.
This has led some high-end real estate professionals to focus their businesses almost entirely on the emerging trend of pocket listings. Their selling points to celebrity clients are pocket listings will maintain privacy and also put them in the loop when the best homes are quietly place on the market.
Another tactic celebrities employ to protect their privacy is by buying properties under the name of a trust. It can be named anything, but it’s usually a good idea to give the trust a generic title, said one professional in the luxury real estate market. The Times offered Britney Spears as an example supporting that premise. The singer apparently bought and sold homes under Love Shack Trust, but that was eventually traced back to Spears because of its association with the pop star.
One professional suggested generic names are really ideal because a Google search would result in millions of hits.