Recently Cincinnati MLS implemented a Coming Soon category.
Prior to that, it wasn't uncommon to see yard signs up in a yard with "New Listing" or "Coming Soon". Now the challenge is, what did "Coming Soon" mean? Depending on the agent, it might mean days, or even weeks.
And what it could also mean would be some hard feelings.
Let's say Agent Betty has a listing in a popular neighborhood. She drops in a yard sign right after getting the sellers to sign the listing agreement. Perhaps the home needs a few last minute tweaks, maybe the carpets cleaned, a little painting, and the photographer is holding off taking pictures until that's done.
But meanwhile that sign is in the yard with Agent Betty's name and phone number. Now let's say Agent Bill (no relation to me at all, he just has a great first name!) has been working with some buyers for a couple of months, looking for that JUST RIGHT home. Inventory is kind of scarce so the buyers have been driving through their preferred neighborhoods on the weekends. And there it is! A new yard sign and this one looks like it could be THE ONE!
So they call Agent Bill and ask him about that great new listing. Agent Bill has been tracking the MLS entries in that neighborhood and NOTHING has shown up. He doublechecks the MLS for a new entry, and ....NADA. Nothing there so he tells the buyers that.
Now the buyers are going to think one of two things:
1) the home just came on the market so they'll tell Agent Bill the name of the agent on the sign so he can call and get details
2) they'll think Agent Bill is an incompetent idiot because he didn't know anything about their dream house being on the market....so....they call the listing agent direct, kick Agent Bill to the curb and do their best to buy that Coming Soon home before it gets in MLS.
Now if option 2 comes about, Agent Bill is probably pissed. He's just spent weeks/months working with these buyers, and unless he's willing to sue to enforce the buyer's agency agreement, he's going to have nothing to show for his efforts. So he's "mildly irritated" with those buyers. Secondly, he's not going to be too thrilled with the listing agent who "stole" his buyers. Yes, you could argue that Agent Betty was just doing her job and getting the sellers' home sold, but still....
Personally, it's my strong opinion that IN MY MARKET AREA you get the best deal for your sellers by having the widest possible buyer pool, and you get that with MLS entries, websites up and running, etc. A yard sign alone isn't going to create that buzz.
So you can see where Coming Soon without some requirements could lead to some heartburn both from the public and other agents, right?
So Cincinnati MLS set up some guidelines.
You're either Active in MLS and accepting showings and offers, or you're "Coming Soon".
You can ONLY be "Coming Soon" if you've turned in a listing agreement to MLS, along with a seller addendum agreeing to a "Coming Soon" status.
Once that Coming Soon entry is made in MLS, THEN a sign can go up in the yard. Now ALL the agents in MLS can know about the price and other key characteristics. Now when Agent Bill gets the call from his buyers he can find it and tell them about it.
Another requirement with Coming Soon? There has to be a date within 10 days of that states when the home will go Active in Cincinnati MLS. ONLY when that date is reached can the listing agent OR a buyer's agent show the home to prospective buyers. And ONLY when that date is reached can the listing agent present offers to the seller, NOT PRIOR.
And ONLY when the Coming Soon status is in Cincinnati MLS can the listing agent start advertising their listing on other websites, blog posts, email distributions, Facebook, etc.
So now the entire public has the opportunity to know about the home for sale and participate on an even playing field.
If the listing agent has a hot property and it's well priced, there can be some buzz built up and get high traffic and ideally multiple offers for thier sellers Day 1 of going Active.
And just in case anyone gets any bright ideas about doing an end around on the process, there are SIGNIFICANT fines for the listing agent who violates the Coming Soon rules and gets busted. And get busted enough and it will become a moot point since suspension of agent privileges follows the fines.
Now all that said, Coming Soon listings are still pretty uncommon. This evening there are a TOTAL of 32 homes and condos listed in Cincinnati MLS for the ENTIRE area of coverage. That's almost nothing.
However, one of those 32 includes a condo that's a match for one of my buyers. She has the heads up for the date and topline details so we'll be ready to set up a showing on the Go Live date.
But in general, don't expect to see a huge Coming Soon population in Cincinnati MLS. Most agents will continue to just go straight to ACTIVE with their new listings as soon as they're ready.
Ready to get started? New construction or resale, buying or selling, I'm ready to go to work for you. Contact me at 513-520-5305 or Liz@LizSpear.com.
We look forward to helping you with your home needs!
Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz
Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas
The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747
William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109 Kentucky 77938
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