While not a new concept for veteran real estate agents, the terms “coming soon“, “off-MLS“, “office exclusive”, “pocket” listings or “hidden inventory” may be an unfamiliar phrase to many consumers and some newer agents. Home sellers and agents should be aware of the benefits of the practice and how it can enhance their chances of receiving multiple offers on their home, and ultimately serve their goal of getting the best possible price for their homes in the shortest time possible while also reducing the inconvenience typically associated with selling a home.
What ‘coming soon’ means
Coming soon listings are properties that are scheduled to be listed as “active” in the MLS but are first pre-marketed as “coming soon.” Pocket listings are listings that are withheld indefinitely from the MLS, often for luxury properties, and celebrities or other notable personalities with privacy reasons. Pocket listings are much less likely to appear on platforms designed for marketing properties off the MLS.
Why are the benefits
One of the reasons we sell properties faster than most other agents is that we aggressively market our listings as “coming soon” before entering them into the MLS.
Not only does this strategy creates excitement so that when we do list on the MLS, we hit with a bigger bang. It allows us to fully expose the property to market and to a greater number of buyers and agents by allowing the listing to fully syndicating out across all of the websites and marketing channels we promote our listings across before taking the listing active in the MLS.
Agents and consumers are reaching out to us, trying to get information on the property prior to the home appearing in the MLS. Getting top dollar for you home is all about creating demand, and pre-marketing your home as a ‘coming soon’ listing allows us to do just that!
It’s also a great opportunity to test the waters on pricing, and to better assess the size of the buyer pool who are already hunting for a home such as your own. Coming Soon’s are a great tool for sellers allowing us to collect instant feedback from potential buyers prior to fully listing the home.
Furthermore, marketing the home as a Coming Soon Listing and generating interest before going fully active and beginning to show the property helps to reduce the time on market and thereby helps to alleviate the hassle of keeping the house spotless, getting the kids and pets out of the house for a showing, for weeks and or months.
Finally, if an offer is submitted in the ‘Coming Soon’ phase, the seller has an excellent negotiating position.”
Recent data provided to Inman News from a platform for marketing homes off the MLS, and a major MLS that offers a “coming soon” status confirms the benefits of this strategy.
The data shows that properties marketed as “coming soon” before being listed in the multiple listing service (MLS) tend to sell faster and for more money than MLS listings that never receive “coming soon” promotion.
‘Coming soon’ listings sell faster
From early December 2014 through mid-October, 173 Chicago homes that were first posted in offMLS and were then later listed in the local MLS spent an average of 28 days listed as “active” in the local MLS before going under contract, according to Bob Safranski, CEO of offMLS.
That’s 14 days less than the average number of days — 42 — that Chicago listings in the same ZIP codes as the offMLS properties stayed in the local MLS during the same period before going under contract, according to Safranski.
‘Coming soon’ listings sell for more money
Inman’s analysis looked at attached and detached single-family homes listed in the Chicago-area MLS, Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), that were priced between $125,000 and $1.6 million and located in the same ZIP codes as offMLS listings of the same property types and price range.
The average list price for offMLS properties used in the analysis was $503,000, while the average list price for all MLS listings used in the analysis was $423,000. The analysis did not scientifically control for variables like property type and price.
Properties stayed on offMLS for an average of 21 days before they were listed in MRED.
During the period that properties are posted in offMLS, agents can choose to not allow showings — not typically the case with properties listed on MLSs.
offMLS has close to 700 members in the Chicagoland area and recently expanded to Denver, Safranski said.
offMLS’s analysis provides “compelling … evidence of the value of pre-MLS marketing on offMLS,” Safranski said.
Coming Soon listings are definitely something to take advantage of, whether you’re a buyer or seller. Ensure you align yourself with a well-connected agent so that you are aware of, and get access to as many Coming Soon Listings, Pocket Listings, Office Exclusives and Hidden Inventory Listings as possible. Keep in mind, buyers, many of these listings are not available for everyone to see, so your agent is the gatekeeper in this situation. Likewise, sellers would be wise to implement a Coming Soon strategy when selling their home.