The state association of realtors (C.A.R.) attempts to address the pocket-listing issue in its latest edition of California Real Estate magazine:
They describe how agents think that pocket listings are OK, as long as the sellers sign the MLS-exclusion form.
But the exclusion form isn’t a permission slip for agents to ignore their fiduciary duty to expose the property to the open market, and go find their own buyer instead. Unfortunately, no enforcement is in place, other than the Code of Ethics – so you better behave!
They also have an article on multiple offers, which concludes with this gem:
Or, as Krull puts it, “For buyers or sellers, I tell them that multiple offers are the reason they invented bourbon whiskey!”
We are a classy bunch.