The new Coming Soon feature in our MLS has been available since Tuesday.
Since then, there have been 32 new listings of houses between La Jolla and Carlsbad. Eight of the 32 have been inputted as Coming Soon (not active listings).
The common reason for having Coming Soons is to try out the price, and to build anticipation among realtors like a movie trailer does with moviegoers.
My random thoughts and observations:
Because the policy forbids any showings of the homes, the MLS agents will want to know when showings will be available. But the MLS doesn’t provide a box for that date, and none of the eight agents mentioned a date either. We know that Top Gun 2 is being released on December 23rd – which builds anticipation.
Four listings include the showing instructions as if they don’t know the policy, or are openly flaunting it. Will they allow showings today while listed as Coming Soon? I don’t know, but it looks like it.
Three listings had no photos, which would be expected of a listing that is in the works – it would be natural to follow with photos once the listing is ready. But it’s hard to build anticipation without visual aids. The movie trailers come with photos and video:
But the big question is what will the listing agents do when an offer is submitted during the Coming Soon period, subject to inspection? There are no written rules in the policy, so it is an individual choice.
Do you tell the buyer’s agent to wait until it’s active? Or do you take it to the sellers and negotiate a deal?
When do you let the buyer see the interior? Do you show before coming to an agreement, which would be smart but against the rules? Or do you make the deal, and then show them the interior and stay within the rules (it would be a pending listing now, not coming soon). Or once you receive an offer, do you flip the listing into active status so every agent and buyer can have a shot?
We have no rules, and no precedent.
We should ask the listing agents to answer these questions in the listing, so agents know what to expect.
If we don’t, here’s what will happen.
Buyer: Thanks for that coming-soon listing, it’s exactly what I want. Can I see it?
Buyer: Can I buy it?
Agent: I don’t know.
Buyer: Send them a full-price offer.
Agent: Ok, but I’m not sure what will happen.
Is that sequence good for anyone involved?
While the MLS was cordial to respond to requests from brokerages to create a Coming Soon category, we need to go further. Let’s clearly define the rules of engagement, for everyone’s sake.