Buyer questions

Answers to all of your Buyer questions.

Getting started

How do I receive notifications if I’m not ready to buy?

To receive notifications for new homes added, homes (bidding periods) closing soon and comments made on saved homes, sign up as a “just looking” user.

To receive additional notifications about exclusive previews, bids, out-bids, and extended bidding, register to bid, as a qualified buyer. It’s free and only takes a few minutes!

How do I register to bid?

To register to bid:

  1. Sign up.
  2. Add your billing info.
  3. Upload either a proof of funds document from your bank or a pre-approval letter from your lender.
How does the buying process work?
  1. Sign up – register to bid as a qualified buyer by submitting your pre-approval letter or proof of funds.
  1. Find exclusive homes – and attend exclusive previews for the ones you’re interested in bidding on.
  1. Bid – make an intelligent offer. For more information, check out our bidding FAQs.
  1. Win – at the end of bidding, if your bid is the highest and meets the seller’s reserve, a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) is automatically generated for you to sign as a formal offer. For more information, check out our post-bid FAQs.
  1. Sign – once you and the seller have signed the PSA, the PSA becomes a legally binding agreement. 

Note: the buyer’s fee is collected after the seller signs the PSA. If the seller does not sign the PSA, no fee is collected.

  1. Close – the closing process is not handled by pocket. However, we do have preferred closing partners. To learn more about the closing process, check out our guide to navigating the closing process.
What is a pocket listing?

A pocket listing provides buyers with the information they need to make intelligent offers and sellers with offers that close quicker. Every home listed on pocket includes:

  • Seller’s terms – the terms that the seller is willing to accept from the highest bidder when their reserve is met at the end of bidding.
  • Due diligence documents – preliminary title report/title commitment, pre-inspection report, seller’s disclosure and Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA)
  • Neighborhood data – school ratings, crime rankings, and demographic information.
  • Price Information – neighborhood and metro home value appreciation comparisons, historical sales price(s), average neighborhood home price, and estimated rental value compared to average neighborhood rent.
  • Bid analytics – all bids, bidding trends over time, average bid increase, number of bidders and bidding frequency. 
  • Direct access to the seller – live commenting and seller Q + A.
What is an intelligent offer?

Intelligent offers are data-driven bids made by evaluating a home’s current price, existing bids, market insights, due diligence reports and historical pricing. All of this information can be found on every pocket listing.


How do I prepare for an exclusive preview?

To prepare for an exclusive preview, make sure you do the following before attending:

  • Write down your questions – if there is anything that you want to know that hasn’t been answered by the seller Q +A, don’t hesitate to ask and make sure you take notes so you can review later on.
  • Create checklists – one for any and all home requirements and another for any issues that would deter you from buying.
  • Research the neighborhood – locate schools, restaurants, transportation, etc. (whatever is important to you), so that after the preview you are prepared to discover if the area is a fit.
What are seller’s terms?

Seller’s terms are the terms that the seller is willing to accept from the highest bidder when their reserve is met at the end of bidding.

What is an exclusive preview?

An exclusive preview is a private showing for qualified buyers. Each home has a single-day exclusive preview at a date and time selected by the seller. As soon as an exclusive preview is scheduled, qualified buyers will be invited to attend.

What is the pre-bid period?

The pre-bid period is the two weeks prior to the start of bidding when buyers can engage in seller Q & A, review property details/due diligence documents and attend an exclusive preview.

Note: buyers will still be able to review property details and engage in seller Q + A during bidding.


Can I cancel my bid?

Once a bid is placed, it cannot be canceled. Our system allows you to enter your bid, preview your bid, and then place your bid to ensure the accuracy of your bid.

How do I place a bid?

After you’ve registered as a qualified buyer, simply enter the amount you wish to bid in the bid box on the listing of the home you wish to bid on and click the “preview bid” button. After previewing your bid and confirming the amount you wish to bid is correct, you can place your bid by clicking the “place bid” button. The minimum bid increment is $100.

What happens if I’m outbid?

If you are outbid, you can re-bid as long as the bidding period is still open. There is no limit to the number of bids that can be placed during a bidding period. Any time that you are outbid you will be notified by email and text message.

What is a reserve price?

A reserve price is the minimum price that the seller is willing to accept to sell their home. This price is not displayed on the listing but every listing indicates whether or not the reserve has been met.

Why does the bid clock keep resetting?

If a new bid is made within the last 5 minutes of the bidding period, 5 additional minutes are added to the bid clock. This gives all buyers the opportunity to bid or re-bid up to their highest bid.


How do I contact the seller?

If you have the winning bid at the end of the bidding period, the reserve has been met and you sign the purchase and sale agreement, you will be provided with the seller’s contact information.



How much is the buyer’s fee?

The buyer’s fee is 1% of the winning bid and is charged to the credit card we have on file.

The buyer’s fee is charged after your offer is accepted: when the seller signs the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA). If the seller does not sign the PSA, then you will not be charged the buyer’s fee.

In order to promote honest bidding, if you are the winning bidder and do not sign the PSA, you will still be charged the buyer’s fee. We strongly recommend only bidding on homes that you are willing to purchase.

Why is there a hold on my credit card?

When placing a bid, a hold equal to 1% of the bid amount is placed on your card. If you have the winning bid at the end of the bidding period, the hold is converted to a charge. If you do not have the winning bid at the end of the bidding period, the hold is immediately released.