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The ‘coming soon’ phenomenon

“Coming Soon” to an MLS near you! The words alone are exciting for most potential buyers. Especially in a low inventory market. As buyers drive the streets hoping to get the inside track on the market, a “Coming Soon” sign is sight for sore eyes.


But what does “Coming Soon” really mean? And what is the purpose?


Coming soon means exactly that- it means that a listing will soon be on the open market and advertised in the MLS. We use the coming soon strategy on all of our listings and I believe that it is part of the reason that our average days on market for the last 12 months rolling is 11 days versus our area market average of 35 days currently. As the lead listing agent for our team, one of my primary jobs is to create a pipeline of buyers for our listings prior to them going live in MLS. By getting a wave of buyers through on the first weekend that one of our listings goes live, we increase the chances of multiple offers and do our best to ensure low days on the market.


Inman.com recently ran a story about a Chicago-based real estate firm who has seen huge success from coming soon listings. In their market, homes that were advertised coming soon sold on average in 35 percent fewer days than listings that were not marketed as coming soon. That is a huge difference. Especially today as the holidays are knocking on our door.


In a nut shell, advertising a home as coming soon simply provides the listing agent with an opportunity to promote his or her upcoming listings to fellow Realtors and potential buyers in the area.


Now let me tell you what coming soon listings are not: They are not an opportunity for the listing agent to try to convert potential buyers by showing the property to them prior to it going active in MLS. Nor is it an opportunity for buyers agents to call the listing agent and see if they can get their buyer in early, before it goes live. Both examples break MLS rules and regulations and could set the listing agent up for not only a fine from the Kansas Real Estate Commission or the Missouri Real Estate Commission, but also a law suit. There are pending law suits currently that have resulted from the examples that I have cited.


As a seller, there really is no down side to a coming soon listing. With the exception of possibly being stopped by potential buyer while working in your yard (we have had this happen to clients of ours). Yet again, this is just another opportunity to showcase your home for the market before they can actually see it.


Finally, let me offer a quick word of caution. We have found that coming soon listings loose their luster after about three to four weeks of being advertised via the sign in the yard. After that point, the market seems to think of you as “crying wolf.” A best practice would be to place the coming soon sign two to three weeks prior to hitting the open market. Please remember that to meet MLS guidelines, you must have a signed listing agreement with a Realtor before he or she can place any signage in your yard.

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