Real Estate Agent with Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 CalBRE # 01188158

It seems the practice of posting a "Coming Soon" rider on a For Sale sign is increasing in popularity.  Zillow has announced that it is going to offer the ability to advertise properties 30 days prior to that property actually being available to purchase.


Approach this new marketing tool very carefully.  Ask yourself "Who does this benefit?"  The answer might be surprising and not what most sellers would expect.


Consider the normal practice of marketing a property.  The first 2 weeks are the most important weeks of a listing - this is the period in which the sellers are most likely to get their listed price.  Most Realtors will make every effort to have the sign go up, advertising to be made public and have the property hit the internet at the same time.  This makes the biggest impact for the property. 


Now, consider the "Coming Soon" approach.  The sign goes up and....the buyers are told they cannot see the property and Realtors are told they can't show the property.  The sign becomes a fixtue and after a couple of weeks, no one pays attention to it anymore.  The property is already "shop worn".


Knowing all of this, why would anyone want to take on this kind of strategy?  Who does it benefit?  The common phrase "Follow the money" will answer this fairly quickly.  Despite other Realtors being told they cannot show the property, the listing agent has no such limit.  The listing agent has access to the property and can show the property at will.  If the listing agent sells the property, the potential is to double their commission.


One may ask why this would be an issue.  Research shows that homes that do not go on the open market sell for a lower price than those that are exposed to the open market...and this difference is substantial. We are already seeing lawsuits from sellers who realized after the fact that their home could have sold for more but were not given that opportunity by their listing agent.


If the seller is well informed of the difference in the approaches and still chooses to go the route of "Coming Soon", then there is no issue.  However, Realtors should be very explicit in their explanation of the different types of marketing and the consequences of each.



Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Trey Thurmond 07/31/2014 03:09 PM
Home Selling
Running a Brokerage
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Sacramento Real Estate
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Ted Glover
Alderman Classic Realty, LLC - Moultrie, GA
ABR in Moultrie, Georgia 229-854-5422

Good question on the use of it. Will I have to start spend my gas money and time to view these types of properties before they are ready? Can I get the answers for my buyers I am representing now when they ask me about this one? Trendy or Trend setting? Time will tell on this one.

Jul 19, 2014 12:32 AM #1
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Ted~

That's the problem - you won't be able to view the property - all you will know is that it is coming on the market at some point and time.  The only person who has access is the listing agent and whoever the agent chooses to allow in.


Jul 19, 2014 12:53 AM #2
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

I like the downside you put out there with shop worn as a disadvantage. Excellent point. I have heard in some areas sellers agents have used coming soon for 4 weeks. WOW.

Jul 19, 2014 12:35 PM #3
Larry Riggs
Century 21 Redwood - Frederick, MD
GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist

Agents should also check state laws regarding marketing of properties. In Maryland it is illegal for a licensee to market a property that is not listed. My understanding is that the Maryland Real Estate Commission is starting to crack down on agents who market "coming soon" properties if they mention a specific property.

Jul 19, 2014 01:37 PM #4
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Gary!
First, nice to chat with you again!  Here in California, we have seen them up for months - no way that is good for the seller.

Hi Larry!
Good point.  I wish California had such a law.

Jul 19, 2014 03:27 PM #5
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

I know our MLS does not sell the "coming soon" riders as it's against their policy to advertise as such. But I seem them everywhere, particularly in neighborhoods where they are going to tear down the house and build a new one. Always a "coming soon" on those.

And pocket listings. They don't like those either and we are still paying our FMLS fees on those too! 

Jul 19, 2014 10:33 PM #6
Trey Thurmond
BCR Realtors - College Station, TX
College Station , Texas Homes

Great take on a new concept Paula. I can see that there could be side effects we need to consider first.

Jul 31, 2014 03:11 PM #7
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I can see a coming soon notice a few days before being ready to show, but not much longer.

Jul 31, 2014 03:15 PM #8
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Paula Swayne

Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga
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