Sometimes, the best marketing is cheap or free

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

One of my favorite techniques for marketing a property is to put a "Coming Soon" sign in front of the property a few weeks prior to the listing.  This works best on REOs or short sales in high traffic areas. Coming Soon This is a property that is coming, but for one reason or another it isn't quite ready to list yet. 

It's important that you obtain permission from the owner / bank / lender (in writing) before doing so, but it gives the traveling public a chance to see what's about to be listed before it hits the market.

I currently have a great REO coming on the market in about two weeks that I just did this with.  I seriously doubt it will last 24 hours on the market because I have a dozen people already lined up to place an offer on it.  Only two potential clients have seen it inside, and that is only because I was there when they dropped by.

Make sure your state board allows you to place a sign prior to list, but its a great attention getter.  It also keeps the sharks at bay who grab up all of the best REO deals before anyone else can get involved.  I had one investor offer me an extra $10,000 outside of closing to make sure he gets the property as soon as it lists.  Sorry, can't do it.  It has to be listed 5 days before a contract can be accepted, but you're welcome to get in line. 

The last time I did this, I had a client leave a message at my office before I arrived there after placing the sign.  He ultimately bought it for full price.  It's a great way to build expectation within the community.  Try it if your board and seller permit.



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  1. Debbie Reynolds 09/29/2012 12:39 AM
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Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

What a great idea.  We have all gated developments here but I applaud you for your creative approach to getting things sold in a hurry.

Sep 25, 2012 01:17 AM #42
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

Great strategy!  You have always such creative ideas, whether it is your blogs or cool ideas like this!

Sep 25, 2012 01:55 AM #43
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Many agents are using coming soon signs, especially if the home is in an area in great demand.  I use coming soon occasionally. 

Sep 25, 2012 03:17 AM #44
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Mike, the "coming soon" thing sounds like a pretty good idea. I'll check into being allowed to use it or not. Good job passing up the $10k

Sep 25, 2012 03:48 AM #45
Deb McNeill
Flying M Team Small World Realty Fort Worth, Tx - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Very good post. I like this idea.

Sep 25, 2012 03:51 AM #46
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Richie, the one thing it does for local buyers is that it gives everyone a fair shot at a property.  Nobody gets first dibbs on an REO property with me.  I will certainly make people aware of what's coming, but they have to stand in line like everyone.

Excellent, Harry.  I need to do that.

I can have the info, I just can't show it to anyone until it's actually listed.  The REOs I work with have an agreement to work together, and then they have a listing agreement.  We do the first agreement to give me the right to take control of the property, re-key it and start the trashout and clean up.  When that's done and the BPOs are in they give me a price and a listing agreement.  On the most recent one, two people did drop by while was in the process of getting the house re-keyed and cleaned up. 

Sure, Rhonda.  Check with your state board and the owners first. 

C & D, I've never had one last 24 hours.  Most get multiple contracts because people have been waiting.

Thank you, Jennifer. 

They work for me, Evelyn. 

Sep 25, 2012 03:54 AM #47
Spectrum Inspection Group
Spectrum Inspection Group - Las Vegas, NV

When working with sellers (and not banks), it is also a good idea to get an inspection during this time so you and your client go into the transaction knowing the exact condition of the home.  Good idea with the coming soon sign!

Sep 25, 2012 03:54 AM #48
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Mike... What a cool idea! Anticipation is 90% of realization (as the saying goes).

Sep 25, 2012 04:31 AM #49
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks, Eric.  I guess I was supposed to bury my values and grab the cash.  Just couldn't do it.  Everyone needs to get a shot at it. 

Thanks, Deb.

That's a great idea, SIG.

Sep 25, 2012 04:42 AM #50
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Mike, I use "Coming Soon" signs and they attract a lot of attention and phone calls.

Sep 25, 2012 06:37 AM #51
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Sounds like a great way to build up enthusiasm. I'm glad it's working so well for you.

Sep 25, 2012 08:11 AM #52
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Mike - There's nothing like a sense of anticipation. Just think of Christmas morning with kids.
Sep 25, 2012 08:49 AM #53
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Absolutely, Sharon.  A simple way to get the public ready for a great deal.

So far so good, Jill.  I doubt this house will last 24 hours.

That's so true, Christine. 

Sep 25, 2012 11:23 AM #54
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Haven't seen any "coming soon" signs in my area, that's an interesting idea, especially if it's free marketing.  

Sep 26, 2012 03:30 AM #55
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I don't sell REOs but it is a great idea for any home which will be soon on the market!

Sep 29, 2012 12:09 AM #56
Shanna Day Team Leader (UT & AZ)
Keller Williams SLC (UT) and Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) - Park City, UT
Keller Williams Realty

I'm calling my printer now.   It will help get the help of the neighbors involved too as they love to call and be nosey.  Thanks for sharing.   Shanna

Sep 29, 2012 12:43 AM #57
Tanja Cisliek
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL

Mike, I love this idea. Works great for private sellers, too, just make sure the listing agreement is signed, one can put a note in there "Seller does not wish to be in MLS until xx-xx-xx", let's say until after the daughter's wedding is done and over with. But that is a great idea!

Sep 29, 2012 01:20 AM #58
David Grbich
Realty One Group - - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Hi Mike - great idea if you have the lead time to do it - sure your REO will be gone in hours! Regards Dave

Sep 29, 2012 01:30 AM #59
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Thanks for sharing your promotional ideas.  In Maryland, the real estate commission now specifically prohibits coming soon advertisements and promotions.  

Have an outstanding weekend and be certain to have your camera in hand to capture the special moments.

Sep 29, 2012 01:56 AM #60
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks for all of your comments.  I loaded the property onto the MLS this past Wednesday.  I'll be receiving my first contract today. 

Sep 29, 2012 03:23 AM #61
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