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Selling Quietly

Selling Quietly
ask phyllis a real estate question

Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions. Email us here

Dear Phyllis,

I look forward to your real estate questions and think this is a new topic for discussion. I have a sister who my mother disinherited years ago. She was a drug addict and a real disappointment to my parents. She moved out of state years before my mother passed, and I have only had limited contact with her.

My mother had a long illness and a lot of medical bills. After she passed, I inherited the home. With my being on a fixed income, there are a lot of repairs and updates that were never made. It’s time for me to move to where the cost of living is less, and I need to sell. But I don’t want my sister to find out. I don’t want her judging me for the home’s condition or asking for money. With everything being so available on the internet, how can I best accomplish selling quietly?


Dear Jennifer,

What an interesting question! You want to sell your home without listing in the multiple listing service (MLS). Once listed in the MLS, the information is then fed to, Zillow, and thousands of other sites. In this instance, if your sister were looking online, she would learn the home was listed for sale.

I had a similar situation years ago. I represented a woman who went through a messy divorce. As a result, she was embarrassed over the details of her divorce becoming so public. And when it came time to sell, she didn’t want friends to know how her once beautiful home had deteriorated. Your best option will be to contact an experienced local real estate agent. This agent will have a network of home buyers, investors, and other Realtors. Preferably one working in one of the larger brokerages with lots of real estate agents. Not listing in the MLS limits your home’s exposure, and you want to maximize exposure with your agent and his/her larger brokerage.

However, once your home is sold, our MLS rules require that we report the sale in the MLS. But information regarding the condition of the home can be omitted. And by that time, you will have moved.

Best of luck with your sale, and thank you for your question.

Related Post: Selling your home promises, promises

One thought on “Selling Quietly

  1. Carrie says:

    The days of complete privacy in general are over. It’s the downside of having info at our fingertips

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