What Are Pocket or ‘Coming Soon’ Listings?
You may have heard the terms: coming soon, off-MLS listings, office exclusives, waivered, exempted or pocket listings. Whatever you call them, they are all properties that are listed for sale with an MLS member BUT not included in the MLS and they each have their unique uses and advantages.
A pocket listing is an unofficial, off-market listing also known as a “quiet” or “off-market” listing. Pocket listings marketed by the real estate listing agent directly and discreetly to qualified buyers and other elite, top producing real estate agents who work with luxury home buyers. Though the seller has a signed listing agreement with the Realtor, the property for sale is withheld from the general market and isn’t officially listed in the MLS. Other traditional forms of marketing may be downplayed as well.
Off-MLS listings are often requested by celebrities, judges, prosecutors, luxury homeowners, or others who wish to maintain their privacy and/or limit viewing of their property to a select individual or individuals with the financial wherewithal to purchase a home such as their own. The buyer pool for these expensive luxury homes becomes smaller and smaller the higher you progress up the price scale which in turn results in longer market durations. Pocket listings are not recommended nor, do they make sense for the average homeowner.
A coming soon listing is a home that is not officially on the market, but is expected to be listed for sale within a short period, typically 7 to 30 days. This strategy is utilized as a pre-marketing campaign to expose the home to the market and collect feedback prior to taking the property active on the MLS. This serves to generate demand, create anticipation and build excitement about the listing in the period leading up to the property being taken fully active. This strategy is effective in all markets but especially appropriate in a seller’s market when this may be all it takes to bring in a slew of interested buyers. This might also be used in a relocation when the sellers just found out they are moving but the property isn’t ready for showings.
What Are The Benefits of Pre-marketing Your Home as a ‘Coming Soon’ Listings?
This strategy serves a couple of advantages, first it provides for the opportunity to begin cultivating interest in the home prior to taking the property active and in many instances before the home is market ready. Second, it allows the opportunity to test the market and the pricing strategy prior to taking the home active which in turn allows you to better gauge the level of buyer interest, and to make adjustments before the home makes its official market debut.
Real estate is all about marketing, plain and simple and you have to create demand. You accomplish this by (1) properly preparing your home for market (2) pricing it appropriately (3) and exposing the property to as many qualified home buyers as possible. By pre-marketing our clients homes we are able to provide maximum exposure to the marketplace and reach a much larger pool of buyers all before the days on market clock has even begun counting. During this phase your home has time to syndicate across the 300+ real estate websites we post our listings to. Thus when we do take the listing active on the MLS we have already achieved complete penetration across the consumer related websites as opposed to your listing populating these various sites in stages thereby reaching additional buyers weeks after your home was originally listed (in a best case after the home has already gone into contract, and in a worse case after demand has already begun to die down and buyers begin to feel more confident submitting lower and more aggressive offers).
Furthermore, data shows that properties marketed as “coming soon” before being listed in the multiple listing service (MLS) tend to sell faster and for higher prices than MLS listings that never receive “coming soon” promotion. In short, this marketing method allows a listing to hit the MLS with tremendous velocity, with multiple buyers dreaming home-specific dreams and ready with pre-approval letters in hand.
For Zillow Premier Agents (including ourselves and as referenced with the caption next to my name), the site offers a “coming soon” listings feature that allows this elite agents to post homes that are not yet available for sale to the site up to 60 days before they are added to the MLS. These Coming Soon Listings appear at the top of the search results page, and before featured listings. Buyers can even choose to only see Coming Soon inventory when searching within a neighborhood or city on Zillow, simply by choosing “Coming Soon” in the search filters.
To Recap: As a Seller How Does This Marketing Technique Serve Your Interests?
Most sellers want the highest price possible for their home. The best way to accomplish that goal is to make sure their home is exposed to the maximum amount of potential buyers. Pre-marketing your home as a coming soon listing allows you to do just that, while also allowing your home to sell faster and with less inconvenience.
- Faster Sale for more money data shows that properties marketed as “Coming Soon” before being listed in the multiple listing service (MLS) tend to sell faster and for higher prices than MLS listings that never receive coming soon promotion. Currently, the average days on market for properties starting out in “Active” status is 28.4 days, but only 20.9 for listings that start with “Coming Soon” status. The average Coming Soon listing sells for approximately 2.7% more than the average Active listing.
- Take advantage of the time. When you sign the listing agreement with the real estate agent until the property is ready to market and put in the MLS why not let buyers and their agents know your home will soon be available for sale? This not only allows your agent to reach buyers who might be the perfect match for your home and who might otherwise write an offer on another property if they aren’t aware your home will soon be available. This also provides the time needed for you home to syndicate out across the 300+ real estate websites we post our listings to. Thus when we do take the listing active on the MLS we’ve already achieved maximum penetration across the consumer related websites as opposed to your listing populating these various sites in stages reaching additional buyers weeks after your home was originally listed.
- Exposure to the widest pool of potential buyers. Thanks to the Internet and sites like Zillow and Realtor.com there is a huge pool of buyers out there who are searching on their own including those who haven’t connected with a Realtor yet, and those who are assisting their agent in their search efforts. A listing agent should take advantage of every tool available to market a new listing including pre-marketing the home as a coming soon listing. The first two weeks a home is on the market are when activity is highest and when the home will get the most “eyeballs” looking at their property online. Our approach is generate as much interest and activity before we take our listings active and to have every piece of marketing designed and ready to publish the first day the property hits the MLS. We will build interest and anticipation in the home during this phase and when the home appears in the MLS agents and their buyers will see it in their online updates with professional photos, videos, and an immaculate, well-staged market ready home. So a “coming soon” teaser, in my opinion, is actually a disservice to most sellers as it might lessen the impact of the initial marketing and therefore bring in fewer buyers at the most critical time of the listing.
- Nothing to loss, everything to gain. A property’s days on the market only start to accrue once the listing has turned “Active,” so any time spent as “Coming Soon” isn’t included in these calculations.
- Unethical Business Tactics. Some agents encourage sellers to pre-market their listings and to withhold them from the MLS simply in the hopes of locating the buyer themselves and getting both sides of the commission. This may be good for the agent but it can hurt the seller. This isn’t how we do business and in fact everyone on our team is a specialist and your listing agent cannot represent the buyer for your home and will represent you exclusively to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please contact The Opland Group. We offer professional real estate advice and look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals!
The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley 43209 Columbus 43201 43206 43214 43215 Delaware 43015 Dublin 43016 43017 Gahanna 43219 43230 Grandview Heights 43212 Hilliard 43026 Lewis Center 43035 Marysville 43040 43041 New Albany 43054 Pickerington 43147 Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235