“Coming Soon” May Not Always be an advantage for the Home Seller

Some REALTORS are true believers in planting a “FOR SALE” sign in front of a soon to be listed for sale home a week (or so) prior to officially listing the property in the MLS.

The Goal for the Seller:

To generate and BUILD STRONG Buyer Interest in the property such that when the listing goes LIVE, multiple Buyers will rush in to look thereby creating URGENCY – a frenzy to produce multiple offers resulting in a “Bidding War” and potential for an over listing price sale.

The (possible) Goal for the Listing Agent:

To generate SIGN CALLS from unrepresented Buyers for 2 reasons:

1. Capture them to buy THAT listing (Without a Co-op Agent)

2. Capture them as Buyer clients to find another house

How long is the TEASE?

This is the test of patience of the Buying public. A year ago, I saw “Coming Soon” sign rider on a house on a busy street for 3 months. When the agent finally entered it in MLS . . . Crickets . . . Whatever interest or urgency that surfaced had fizzled by then . . . That house is STILL on the market. Beware appearing to be “Game Playing” because the Buyers are smarter than you think . . . They run in packs and will leave if there’s no sign of life in the prey. I think anything longer than a week is dangerous.

Early Showings?

What do you do when a REALTOR or Buyer Prospect calls and asks to be able to see the house BEFORE it’s listed? People can be very convincing: “This house is PERFECT for my Buyer who will only be in town for 45 minutes this afternoon and will be an all cash deal and can close whenever is most convenient for the Seller.”

A Turn-Off for some Buyers?

Most Home Buyers begin their search 6-18 months prior to making their first inquiry. What are they doing all those months? They’re doing their homework on the internet and talking to people. They are looking at houses virtually and getting to know how much house they can expect to get for their money and where. These buyers are SMART and EDUCATED and AWARE and probably know the market as well (if not better) as the Listing agent. They can smell a rat from a mile away and aren’t very keen with the “Coming Soon” game . . . and don’t forget they run in packs 🙂

Managing the traffic it creates.

Some agents and Buyers have no compunction whatsoever about knocking on the front door of the house or approaching the seller while cutting the grass or fetching the mail or playing in the yard with the kids. This creates a level of inconvenience for the Seller beyond a normal listing because there’s ONLY a sign in the yard with no additional information. This could also present some more draconian scenarios – Safety concerns – because of the wild wild WEst environment it creates . . . no information means no rules to some folks.

What if it falls flat and nothing happens?

Remember when you were a kid not accustomed to your suddenly lengthy legs and would randomly fall down in the middle of a room with nothing on which to trip? Of course, you would jump up immediately regardless of how much pain you were experiencing and declare: “I’m OK! I’m OK!” When you post a coming soon sign, you’ve put the neighborhood spotlight on your house . . . EVERYONE is watching. If nothing happens, they’re gonna laugh.

Will it generate the best terms and Selling Price?

 Maybe . . . Maybe not. Let’s say it “Works” and you get multiple offers. Consider the fact that every one of those Buyers wrote their offer under the duress of high URGENCY and were probably not paying the closest attention to the house while viewing it. In their haste to submit their knee-jerk offer, these buyers often inadvertently omit important terms and overlook significant factors only to discover them AFTER having agreed to pay “too much” for the house . . . and all of this bites EVERYONE in the butt when it comes to resolution of the Inspection and other contingencies . . . Strong potential for HUGE Buyer’s Remorse.

What’s the WORST thing that could happen (Other than nothing)?

I believe the WORST thing that could happen is for a buyer to gain access to the house during the “Coming Soon” period and make an offer . . . or submit an offer sight unseen. Seller might see this as an opportunity to sell the house without having to “bear the inconvenience of showings” and accept the offer . . . Later to discover that another buyer would have happily paid $50,000 MORE with BETTER terms (Yes! I have seen this happen more than once).

So . . . To “Coming Soon” or NOT to “Coming Soon” is the question?

In today’s market here in Nashville, I say NO!

My biggest issue with the “Coming Soon” strategy is that it significantly narrows the segment of the market that knows the house is available. Whatever deal materializes is not necessarily a true representation of the response from an informed and aware pool of Buyers. Only those folks lucky enough to drive by the house are aware it’s available, and Yes when the listing goes into the MLS THEY will JUMP in before the rest of the Buyers in the market are just learning that it’s for sale.

In this low inventory market, I lean towards creating as level a playing field as possible for ALL of the potential Buyers out there. Orchestrate as much publicity and marketing to HIT the MOMENT the listing goes into the MLS . . . and let whatever mayhem develops ensue 🙂

What keeps my mind churning (and awake at night) is an indefatigable practice of studying the market statistics and inventory and the corresponding Home Buyer and Seller behavior so as to position MY clients Best in EVERY negotiation.

THIS is the stuff that REALLY excites me about representing Home Buyer and Sellers (other than the fact that they all become family to me after the closing)


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Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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