Coming Soon Listings Vs. Sneak Peeks

The newest trend hitting the real estate market is “Coming Soon” listings. Probably the most well-known source for these is Zillow. The real estate website launched a portal specifically for them in 2014. Now, smaller companies are starting to provide their own versions of the “Coming Soon” listings site. But what exactly is a “Coming Soon” listing?

Is it a sneak peek? No, not really. A sneak peek is a few pictures and/or a list of features for a listing coming on the market in the next week. You may see us post these on our Facebook page. “Coming Soon” listings are a little more long-term.

The exact definition for what makes a “Coming Soon” listing depends on the source. The property may not yet be part of an official listing agreement with a brokerage or it may be technically listed, but have a modified marketing agreement, so that the home can be advertised prior to being put in the Multiple Listing Service. Sellers may do this while they’re making repairs, moving out tenants, or just to build buzz about the property.

What’s in common between “Coming Soon” listings is that they won’t be entered into the MLS for an extended period of time, but will be pre-marketed to a segment of buyers. While some people like the allure of exclusivity, it also means that most real estate agents will be unaware that the home is currently for sale.

Some sellers and agents feel this type of pre-marketing is a good way to gain the attention of buyers, and most hope to get an offer prior to it being officially listed. Not only does this mean results for the seller, but also looks good for the agent’s stats. However, nothing is guaranteed. After all, a home selling still depends on price, condition, and location, and pre-marketing won’t change those facts. But it may help the agent pick up some potential buyers, as anyone interested will be directed straight to the listing agent.

What determines the segment of buyers seeing the property? They may be people searching Zillow or another website for homes for sale, or they may be a database of buyers who have signed up for “Coming Soon” notifications. Either way, the fact that a segment exists is what makes some Realtors question the ethical validity of “Coming Soon” listings. It is the job of a Realtor to act in their client’s best interests. As a listing agent, it is in the client’s best interests to get the home sold for as much money as possible. If the listing agent pre-marketed to only a segment of buyers, instead of the whole MLS, and received an offer, what are the chances that another higher offer would have been received if it was advertised to everyone? It’s something to think about.

Again, there are a lot of “what ifs”, but as Realtors, we’re required to inform clients of the benefits and risks of “Coming Soon” listings. If you are planning on hiring a real estate agent to list your home as “Coming Soon”, make sure you discuss with them how they plan on handling the marketing and any offers received during the pre-marketing timeframe. It may or may not be in your best interests to pre-market, especially if the only thing keeping your home off the market is the desire to build buzz.

Have questions about listing your Wilmington area home for sale? Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.