Movie theaters always show previews of upcoming films before the main feature. A similar strategy, the “coming soon” sign in the yard of a home about to be put up for sale, has become popular. Does this practice benefit the seller?
What is a “coming soon” listing?
Announcing that a home is “coming soon” is most effective in a sellers’ market, where properties are moving fast. The idea is to generate buzz about a home while it is still being cleaned, repaired and prepared for sale.
A sign indicating that a listing is coming soon means that the home is not yet on the Multiple Listing Service and therefore not yet available for showing to the public at large. In many states, when an agent and seller sign a listing agreement, the MLS requires that the listing “go active” in the MLS system within a predetermined period of time. The coming soon sign is designed to draw attention during that period so that potential buyers are lined up and waiting with bated breath to see the house when it goes on the open market
Pros and cons
Coming soon listings have both benefits and drawbacks for sellers. A seller benefits from a coming soon listing when it builds excitement about the seller’s home while it is undergoing needed repairs and being staged, photographed and dressed up for showing. Done well, pre-marketing a home with a coming soon listing will have buyers itching to see your property as soon as it goes live in the MLS. The MLS then exposes the property to a bigger pool of buyers, ensuring that the home gets the broadest exposure and receives the highest possible offers.
Although a coming soon listing can indeed generate buzz, it exposes the home to a limited number of potential buyers. Selling during the coming soon period can result in a lower price than if the home were listed on the open market through MLS, where a listing generally receives maximum exposure leading to the highest possible price and the best terms.
Sellers must give informed consent
To prevent abuses, most state real estate regulatory agencies have established rules for agents regarding coming soon listings. Because the decision to market with a coming soon listing must be based on the seller’s best interests, state regulators require listing agents to fully explain all aspects of the coming soon listing to the seller and obtain informed and clear consent to this marketing strategy. Regulations also often stipulate that the home must go active on the MLS shortly after the listing agreement is signed and that the seller must agree to and sign an extension of this time period.