The optional Coming Soon status of a listing is somewhat a mystery and often misunderstood by both buyers and sellers alike. But this stage can make a big difference to all parties and is truly an important tool that is offered in our market. When a home is marked as Coming Soon, it usually means the seller is still prepping the home to make it showing-ready and intends to be active on the market soon.
Rules of Coming Soon explained: Somewhat recently Bright Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the database most Realtors in our area use to input their clients’ homes, implemented rules regarding the Coming Soon status. Prior to these rules, there was very little consistency and homes were posted on various platforms as Coming Soon (Redfin, Zillow, etc) and were not syndicated. This led to agents searching multiple sites each day to find Coming Soon listings, and many buyers to miss out if they didn’t check the right platforms. To create a more even playing field for buyers, the MLS implemented rules that require Coming Soon listings to be input on their site if being publicly marketed so that these listings can be found in one place. Onto some simple rules every seller should know about this status. Homes may be marked as Coming soon for up to 21 days and cannot be shown during this period of time. If your home is not ready after the 21 day period, it must move to another status (usually Temp Off) or else it will transition directly to Active. Offers may be submitted and reviewed during the Coming Soon period site-unseen. Agents who do not follow these strict rules can face steep fines.
Advantages to the seller: Listing your home as Coming Soon offers a number of advantages. Most notable is the opportunity to drum up interest about your property prior to even being on the market. Buyers will see the listing is Coming Soon and make plans to see the property as early as possible. This results in the more serious buyers visiting the property right away and submitting offers quickly once the listing is active. In addition, it acts as a kind of litmus test to see what buyer interest looks like at different price points. I sometimes strategize with sellers to list in Coming Soon at a more aggressive price, and if interest levels aren’t where they should be we can then reassess and adjust when going active on the market. It also gives us extra time to keep an eye on our competition and adjust as needed prior to going active.
Advantages to the buyer: The first thing you need to understand as a buyer is in order receive coming soon listings you must be working with a real estate agent who is a member of Bright MLS, and the agent must set you up with an auto-email portal through the system to receive these notifications. A Coming Soon listing includes an expected on-market date, and generally offers the ability for your agent to schedule a showing for the home up to a week in advance of it going active. This gives you, as the buyer, a huge leg up on your competition because you can schedule to see the home the first day it is active in advance. On really hot listings, sometimes there aren’t any showing slots available once the listing goes active because it has been booked up during the Coming Soon phase. You can then either submit an offer early on, which is generally to your benefit considering most homes are going under contract quickly, or, if there is an offer deadline for after the weekend, you can plan to revisit the home for a preoffer inspection. Either way, being one of the first parties through will work to your advantage most of the time.
My take: This status should be used almost always. It provides buyers a better opportunity to plan their showings, and often results in sellers receiving multiple great offers quicker. Of course there are rare occasions where a seller wants their home on the market ASAP, and so we skip this step, but for the most part I find it is beneficial for my clients on either side of the transaction.
One other side note – per MLS rules, agents can market coming soon listings to their own brokerage without having to post in the MLS. This can be advantageous to sellers who don’t necessarily want a ton of showings for various reasons and would rather execute an off-market deal. Takeaway here is simple – it always advantageous for a buyer to work with an agent who has a brokerage with a system for intra-brokerage coming soon listings – like Keller Williams! With over 350 agents in our office, I have access to a larger pool of Coming Soon information than many other agents.
Best of luck, happy house-hunters and sellers!
Alli Collier Summers
Licensed in VA, DC, MD