Join the “Coming Soon” Party
Or Risk Compromising Consumers
By Linda O’
Dear MLS PIN,
We’ve enjoyed a long, fruitful, mutually beneficial relationship.
You and me, babe. We have a long and wonderful history of encouraging cooperation. I admire how you enforce the rules when agents are naughty. I have a warm spot in my heart for how you have made the real estate business better for buyers, sellers and agents. Thank you, truly.
But here’s the rub. Life would be better for everybody if you would embrace “Coming Soon.” You are in denial. Zillow and various sites are promoting “Coming Soon”. It’s a thing. It can’t be ignored. I’m offering an intervention. You can’t pretend it’s not happening, You can’t bury your head in the sand. The horse is out of the barn.
“Coming Soon” has been happening since agents like me put ads in the Globe in the early 1990s announcing a new listing and promising cooperation with all agents. Why? Sellers want the exposure. Buyers want the inside scoop.
Please don’t hold on to old rules that are encourage bad behavior, Requiring agents to take non-MLS listings to use “Coming Soon” is backfiring.
Why not create a “Coming Soon” Category?
Allow agents to put “Coming Soon” listings into the MLS system with some photos and a price, and even perhaps some basic information.
Embrace the future. Heck, embrace the present. Think differently about “Coming Soon” to do the right thing for all involved. It won’t benefit anyone to see a “Coming Soon” in MLS only to have the property “miraculously” go under agreement in one hour when it is entered into MLS.
When MLS was introduced it was a game changer — a platform to promote properties and cooperate with all agents. When every listing agent uses MLS, every buyer and every agent have a chance to see every property and present an offer. Cities like New York don’t have an MLS because they don’t want to cooperate…ok, that isn’t the whole story, but we’ll save that for another day.
But as a result of your (specifically MLSPIN) “Coming Soon” policy I’m feeling hurt. You are breaking my heart.
Your new policy to have sellers sign the Non-MLS form for “Coming Soon” properties is causing chaos. It is breeding distrust. Buyers are afraid to get representation from a buyer’s agent because they don’t want to miss a “Coming Soon” property that might be sold before making it into MLS in this red hot market.
Sellers are being hoodwinked and they don’t even know it. They are eager to put a “Coming Soon” sign in their lawn and get on social media to promote their home. They don’t understand that if they take an offer before it hits MLS that a lot of the world still doesn’t know they are on the market and how much money they might be leaving on the table.
You are holding on so tightly to your rules of the past which clearly state that an agent cannot market property until it goes into MLS that you are, perhaps unintentionally, mandating agents to take a lot of non-MLS listings because the selling public is demanding “Coming Soon.” I understand your reasoning, but there are market realities we can’t ignore.
You and I both know what is going on. Agents are listing houses as “Coming Soon” and putting them under agreement before they hit MLS. You know this market is insane. Agents love finding buyers for their own listing. They get the full commission. So does their firm. But this is so wrong for the consumers. Sellers aren’t getting full exposure. The only way to guarantee the best terms and price is to make sure everybody knows it’s on the market and can get in and make their best offer. Buyers are missing out. It puts agents in a terrible position of not knowing all the properties that are on the market because the “Coming Soon” inventory is not in MLS.
We have an idea. My partners, Eileen Hamblin, Paul Mydelski and Steve Chuha and I have been brainstorming about our own “Coming Soon” policy, but we need your help.
If you are willing to embrace “Coming Soon” we need to ensure that cooperation will happen.
Proposed “Coming Soon” Rules
1. ”Coming Soon” is a new MLS Category
2. Properties can be listed up to five days before going live into MLS
3. Properties must have at least one photo and a price.
4. Days on Market does not start until it goes into MLS. as “Active/“
4. Lawn Signs and Marketing can commence when the property is in MLS under “Coming Soon”
5. Agents who use “Coming Soon” must allow enough time for all buyers and their agents to see the house and make their best offer. Property must be available to show when it goes into MLS, listing agents need to be able to accommodate reasonable requests for access to the property and offers are to be “reviewed” at least five days after the property hits MLS.
It is critical that we ensure that all agents and their buyers have a chance to get into the property. It is also critical that agents explain the system to sellers who might be tempted to take an offer prematurely. Agents who use coming soon must abide by the spirit of cooperation and help their sellers understand that agents or buyers who try and get a property sold before the offer review deadline are afraid it will sell for more money. If those buyers threaten to walk, how serious are they about buying the property? Training agents to help sellers is going to be super important.
Enforce the Rules
And here is the frustration. You already have rules that aren’t being enforced. Agents who have delayed listings are allowing showings for their own buyers and not for cooperating buyers. So we want to help you enforce the rules. It starts with the broker owners. They can’t turn a blind eye to what their agents are doing. But we need your help. Fines should be severe. Enough to discourage bad behavior. Paying a few hundred dollars to sell both sides of your listing doesn’t seem harsh enough.
“Coming Soon.” Say it loud, Say it proud. No more BS with a property going under agreement before it goes into MLS. It’s also unacceptable to have a property go under agreement a mere few minutes after hitting MLS because an agent wants the MLS credit for the sale when it was never available for other agents and their buyers. Just sayin’.