“Coming Soon” Confusion
Some “coming soon” Advertisements involve unlisted properties which may or will be listed in the near future, while others relate to properties that are subject to listing agreements where property is available to potential purchases only through the listing broker and not available, temporarily or indefinitely, for showing or purchase through other MLS participants. In either case, “coming soon” properties are commonly withheld from the MLS
How do you advise the seller client on whether to advertise a property as “coming soon”? The first important step is to identify the client’s best interest as defined by that client. Failing to act in the client’s best interest and failing to disclose the pros and cons of a limited marketing plan, such as ‘coming soon’ advertising, can violate state real estate license laws and regulations, MLS policies, and the Realtor® Code of Ethics. In addition to complying with state license laws, brokers advertising a listed property as “coming soon” must ensure the advertising complies with their local MLS rules.
For most sellers, getting the highest possible price on the best terms is their best interest, and maximizing exposure of their property to potential buyers advances that interest. MLSs compile property information in an orderly manner and distribute that information to MLS participants who have buyer-clients actively seeking to purchase property in the location served by the MLS. Restricting the marketing of a seller’s property to only small networks, private clubs, or even to national websites without also making it available to other area brokers and agents and their buyer-clients through the MLS limits that property’s exposure and consequently the seller’s ability to attract competitive offers.
Consumers benefit from MLSs because MLSs help aggregate and evaluate numerous factors that can affect a property’s fair market value. MLS information facilitates appraisal preparation, comparative market analyses, and broker price opinions that help consumers ascertain a property’s fair market value. Sellers often rely upon those valuations when setting listing prices and buyers rely on them when making offers to purchase. Those valuations are especially useful when they include information about comparable properties, including sales prices, days on market, and property conditions. Withholding that market information from the MLS impedes the consumer’s ability to receive useful estimates of value.
“Realtors® must remember to promote and protect the interest of the clients, present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and make property available to other brokers for showing to prospective purchasers when it is in the best interest of the seller,” said Johnson. Failing to do so harms the reputation of the broker and Realtors® generally and may result in disciplinary action from the broker’s local association of Realtors®.