Do "Coming Soon" or "Pre-Marketed" home listings better serve the real estate industry or the real estate broker? The question depends on an understanding of the practice and how it affects the clients home selling and buying goals. Let's get to it.
If you've been searching for a home, you may have run across properties with the headline Coming Soon. You call your agent to inquire about the property, and they tell you the seller is not accepting showings at this time. The logical next question is "when can I see it?" Good question! Scenarios like this play out more and more adding speculation about the real estate business, and it's fairness to consumers.
While Coming Soon home advertising seems to be more prevalent on social media it is also promoted on mainstream home shopping websites like Zillow.com.
What is a "Coming Soon" home Listing and the Rationale Behind Them?
Simply put, A Coming Soon home listings refer to properties that are not available for showing or sale until a later date. The date the seller will accept showings is not publicized and becomes part of the mystery. Often Coming Soon home listings are not entered in the multi-list. The exception is a home listing using the Active No-Show status in the Trend/Bright MLS.
The rationale behind Coming Soon home listings is to give would-be home sellers time to make repairs, spruce up the property, and handle other personal business that may conflict with the seller's ability to handle showings and field an agreement before it hits the full market. Pre-marketing a home may also be a way to gauge interest from prospective buyers at the proposed asking price before the house hits the full market.
Coming Soon Home Listings ~ The Dark Side
Low available home inventory can create some unusual real estate marketing practices. Real Estate brokers and agents realizing that there are fewer listings available may attempt to squeeze every bit of business they can get out of them. In some cases, the seller's home is used as bait to attract and capture would-be home buyers for themselves or their brokerage. This practice often disenfranchises prospective buyers working with buyer agents and limits the power of the full real estate market for all. Pre-marketing homes is causing valid concern among real estate professionals prompting real estate commissions nationwide to issue guidance on the topic. Read the National Association of Realtors latest on the subject.
My Take on Coming Soon Home Listings and Pre-Marketing in general
Imagine trying to buy company stocks without a stock market. Now imagine trying to sell a home without a real estate market. The reason why markets work is due to an agreement of cooperation among the participants to treat each other fairly. Without cooperation, we would not be able to enjoy the benefits these markets provide. I believe the pre-marketing of homes by brokers and agents is an erosion of that cooperation.
There will always be rogue operators in any industry that look to bend the rules to give themselves an advantage even if it is not in their clients or industry's best interest. I believe that the disagreement and confusion Coming Soon home listings cause to the overall real estate market far outweighs any perceived benefits. That said if a real estate agent somehow conveys that listing the sellers home as Coming Soon benefits them and they agree so be it. I often wonder how many of those agents thoroughly explain the negatives of pre-marketing a home to their clients before that agreement.
If you are planning to sell your home someday consider these points as they relate to pre-marketing; It will limit the exposure of your home to buyers; It is more likely you will receive multiple offers using the full market instead of a select small slice acquired using a pre-marketing strategy. After all, the whole reason you listed with your agent is to get maximum value, and you get that with maximum exposure provided by a healthy and cooperative real estate market. By using a Coming Soon strategy, It is more likely that any prospective buyers will come directly through your listing agent. Therefore, you may be represented by the same person who is now representing the buyer, a practice known as dual agency. If you read my articles you know I am not a fan of dual agency and do not practice it. I find it literally impossible to represent the buyer and seller in the same real estate deal.
Representing a client in a real estate transaction means putting the interest of your client before your own. I am not sure listing a client's home as Coming Soon truly achieves that objective.
Knowledge is Power!