Coming Soon real estate marketing. Does it work?

Hank Bailey
Hank Bailey
Published on September 24, 2019

Recently one of my clients asked me whether we could list their home as “Coming Soon” to go ahead and get some potential online views to their home while they get it ready to list. Have you ever thought about “Coming Soon” real estate marketing and how it works? You have probably noticed “Coming Soon” on an occasional yard sign or certain Zillow listings. Great idea or not?

Fellow RE/MAX agent, Bill Gassett, in a blog post discussed the Pros and Cons of Coming Soon real estate marketing, and I wanted to share a few key points that I think once you get past the ‘sales sizzle’ of it, you might find this strategy might not make so much sense after all. At the end of the day, I’m convinced this is nothing more than a marketing gimmick and let me share why.

Coming Soon Marketing; Limits your exposure

If you had the choice between advertising your home for sale on your neighborhood Facebook page or on a local, regional, and statewide listing service, which would you choose?

I bet it would be anything hands down that gets you more “eye-balls” looking at your home for sale. You know that exposure is key to creating interest in your home. Letting a few hundred people know about your listing vs. “thousands” of people who are actively involved with finding a home in your market is obviously going to produce different results.

The MLS or Multiple Listing Service is the place to list a home and it’s used by the vast majority of real estate agents and their clients. Been that way for more than a century now. Why does this matter? For starters, the MLS is the source for the majority of “for sale” listing data. Also, real estate agents are in the profession of brokering home sales. It really is a 24/7 job where as an agent I’m constantly looking at the MLS to find listings that might meet a buyer client’s needs then trying to bring buyer and seller together.

That’s just me as a real estate agent discussing my search habits and where I look at homes to make suggestions for buyers. What about the clients that I may have looking for homes, savings searches and favorite active listings online, on my website and that of my national broker RE/MAX? These buyers would not necessarily be exposed to a “Coming Soon” ad on Zillow.

Looking back to my client’s neighbors’ home for a minute, I found on another local brokerage website that in this price range and in their area they have as many as 22 potential buyers right now that might have an interest in this home. Those two dozen or so buyers however very likely don’t see this home because it’s not listed for sale. It’s just “Coming Soon” on Zillow.

Even with the rise in popularity of internet real estate sites like Zillow, the MLS is still the standard for marketing a home. Why would anyone leaving out what could be a thousand or more local full time professionals to help you find your buyer? The results of “Coming Soon” real estate marketing might not work in your best interests as a homeowner.

Yet remember that by simply listing the home for sale, once that listing goes “live’ into the MLS, you are also magnifying your listing on Zillow to home buyers as well.

Coming Soon Marketing; Fewer offers

In his blog post, Bill Gassett writes, “While it can be fast and convenient to sell to the first person who inquires about a listing, most sellers are hoping for the best offer more than anything else. But when a listing does not go on the MLS, the number of people seeing it is significantly reduced.”

I would second that sentiment. In a low inventoried seller’s market there is always someone who knows someone or a real estate agent that lives in the neighborhood “that just happens to have a buyer for you!” Everyone is excited about a new listing, until they see it, understand the floor plan and features, and see if they agree with your asking price. Yet, I don’t get excited about that one buyer your neighbors think might be perfect for you when you are in those pre-listing stages. I’m more interested in opening your home up to “every” buyer we might exposure your home to when it’s ready.

Please remember once again that instead of encouraging multiple offers from more buyers, a ‘coming soon’ listing ensures that only a limited number of potential buyers will even be aware of the listing and even know it exists. For example, my client told me how her neighbor’s “coming soon” listing on Zillow had 750 hits and 10 saves. What does that mean exactly? I’ve got a fairly new listing that has 1,400 hits and 37 saves on Zillow. It also, being an actual “for sale” listing has had 15 showings, 3 offers, and we are now under contract. Those are actual sales results due to a complete marketing package. The neighbor’s “coming soon” listing has a picture of the front of the house and that’s it. My listing has 80+ photos, 3-D walk through of the home, and the house being ready to show has produced not just showings, but multiple offers.

Let’s face it, most sellers hope for a bidding war from multiple offers because a bidding war can drive the price up higher so they can maximize top dollar on their home. While bidding wars are not always possible a ‘coming soon’ listing may very well lessen the chances of a bidding war happening with your home.

Going back to Bill’s blog post once again, “Multiple offers mean more money in your pocket – something you’ll probably give up if you choose to let your real estate agent market your home as a coming soon listing.

Would you rather have one offer or five offers when selling your house in a hot market? Obviously, the latter is how to get the best terms and conditions you want. By agreeing to market as a coming soon property, you will probably be leaving money on the table,” according to Bill and the Maximum Exposure Real Estate blog.

Coming Soon Marketing; The home may not be ready to show

The thing that always worries me is making sure my listing is ready for the day we get listing photos. I want it perfect! All work the seller was going to do to prepare the home to make it ready to sell is completed so that what I put online shows the house in its absolute best light!

When a home still has work that needs to be done to prepare it for showings, what does a Coming Soon listing really accomplish? Will it cause someone to wait a week or two until it’s ready to show ? Likely not. Let me share a story. When showing homes recently I had a seller who told me they unfortunately could not allow us to show that day. It was a new listing, just put into the MLS, and yet due to them not having it completely ready to go once it hit the market, they were not prepared for showings and my clients ended up finding another house that day and putting an offer on another home. My message is that home buyers, if they find a perfect fit, are not going to wait a “day,” much less a week or two for a Coming Soon listing if they find something they like short term.

While there is a desire by some to rush a home on to the market as fast as possible, hence the creation of “Coming Soon” marketing, I find it’s best to make sure the home is 100% ready to show and list it when the house is ready. Anything short of that will not only “not” create a buyer for you, but it might cost you one.

In a previous blog post, Becoming the in Demand Property on the Market, I wrote the following, “In today’s housing market, the majority of buyers are looking for turn key homes that are ready for the buyer to move in as soon as the paperwork of the property purchase is complete. The more attractive move in ready features that a property has the better to attract potential buyers.” Don’t steal time away from your most valuable asset by rushing it to market before it’s ready. Properties that move quickly into the contract stage and with few hold ups in price negotiation and reductions usually sell for greater financial value, a goal that every seller should have when selling their property.

So What About Zillow Coming Soon Listings?

Going back to my friend Bill Gassett one more time, he comments on Zillow Coming Soon listings to expound on the fact that, “Zillow has also jumped on board with the “coming soon” real estate marketing. On their platform, agents who advertise with Zillow can use this feature. Essentially, Zillow is shining a bright light on those real estate agents who spend money advertising with them.

Zillow allows listings to be marketed as pocket listings for up to thirty days before they hit the market. All leads are funneled directly to the listing agent.

Again, for the unsuspecting homeowner who has placed trust with their real estate agent, this kind of marketing can put a seller at a disadvantage. You are not only NOT exposing the home to the masses, but you are dramatically increasing the odds of dual agency.

The goal of every real estate agent should be to get their seller client the absolute best terms and conditions. Coming soon, however, in most cases is going to circumvent that possibility. I would call it legal shenanigans!

An unexplained pocket listing hurts the clients best interests. It is a self-serving marketing activity that benefits the listing agent. The basis for the MLS has been to freely share information with as many people as possible.

Exposure on the MLS ultimately leads to more eyeballs on a property, increasing the odds the seller gets better terms for their home.

Of course, Zillow doesn’t care. From their inaccurate online estimates to posting properties that are not for sale, Zillow does whatever benefits them.”

Don’t forget, Zillow “coming soon,” may produce hits, but add the hits on an “active listing” from Realtor.com, the brokerage company website you list your home with, the MLS, Redfin, and the thousands of places online an active “for sale” listing happens to be and it dwarfs the exposure of a single solitary “coming soon,” even on Zillow.

To me, the negatives outweigh any positives once again from gimmicks that may seem to be smart upfront, but when you think about them they lack a care and concern for the client and their best interests, which is normally gettin maximum exposure for their home in front of as many eye-balls as possible and a sales price that is top dollar for their market.

Fellow RE/MAX agent, Bill Gassett, in a blog post discussed the Pros and Cons of Coming Soon real estate marketing, and I wanted to share a few key points that I think once you get past the ‘sales sizzle’ of it, you might find this strategy might not make so much sense after all. At the end of the day, I’m convinced this is nothing more than a marketing gimmick and let me share why.

Coming Soon Marketing; Limits your exposure

If you had the choice between advertising your home for sale on your neighborhood Facebook page or on a local, regional, and statewide listing service, which would you choose?

It would be anything that gets you more “eye-balls” for sure. You know that exposure is key to creating interest in your home. Letting a few hundred people know about your home for sale vs. hundreds “of thousands” of people who are actively involved with finding a home in your geographic area is obviously going to produce different results.

The MLS or Multiple Listing Service is the place to list a home and it’s used by the vast majority of real estate agents and their clients. Been that way for more than a century now. Why does this matter? For starters, the MLS is the source for all “for sale” listing data. Also, real estate agents are in the profession of brokeraging home sales. It really is a 24/7 job where as an agent I’m constantly looking at the MLS to find listings that might meet a buyer client’s needs. Then trying to bring buyer and seller together. Even with the rise in popularity of internet real estate sites like Zillow, the MLS is still the gold standard for marketing a home and leaving out what could be a thousand or more local full time professionals to help you find your buyer might not work in your best interests.

It is difficult to understand why most sellers would choose to forgo the MLS by marketing their home as Coming Soon. Yet by listing the home for sale, once that listing goes “live’ into the MLS, you are also magnifying your listing on Zillow to home buyers as well.

Coming Soon Marketing; Fewer offers

In his blog post, Bill Gassett writes, “While it can be fast and convenient to sell to the first person who inquires about a listing, most sellers are hoping for the best offer more than anything else. But when a listing does not go on the MLS, the number of people seeing it is significantly reduced.”

It would second that sentiment. In a low inventoried seller’s market there is always someone who knows someone or a real estate agent that lives in the neighborhood “that just happens to have a buyer for you!” Everyone is excited about a new listing, until they see it, understand the floor plan and features, and see if they agree with your asking price. Yet, I don’t get excited about that one buyer your neighbors think might be perfect for you when you are in those pre-listing stages. I’m more interested in opening your home up to “every” buyer we might exposure your home to when it’s ready.

Please remember once again that instead of encouraging multiple offers from more buyers, a ‘coming soon’ listing ensures that only a limited number of potential buyers will even be aware of the listing and even know it exists. For example, my client told me how her neighbor’s “coming soon” listing on Zillow had 750 hits and 10 saves. What does that mean exactly? I’ve got a fairly new listing that has 1,400 hits and 37 saves on Zillow. It also, being an actual “for sale” listing has had 15 showings, 3 offers, and we are now under contract. Those are actual sales results due to a complete marketing package. The neighbor’s “coming soon” listing has a picture of the front of the house and that’s it. My listing has 80+ photos, 3-D walk through of the home, and the house being ready to show has produced not just showings, but multiple offers.

Let’s face it, most sellers hope for a bidding war from multiple offers because a bidding war can drive the price up higher so they can maximize top dollar on their home. While bidding wars are not always possible a ‘coming soon’ listing may very well lessen the chances of a bidding war happening with your home.

Going back to Bill’s blog post once again, “Multiple offers mean more money in your pocket – something you’ll probably give up if you choose to let your real estate agent market your home as a coming soon listing.

Would you rather have one offer or five offers when selling your house in a hot market? Obviously, the latter is how to get the best terms and conditions you want. By agreeing to market as a coming soon property, you will probably be leaving money on the table,” according to Bill and the Maximum Exposure Real Estate blog.

Coming Soon Marketing; The home may not be ready to show

The thing that always worries me is making sure my listing is ready for the day we get listing photos. I want it perfect! All work the seller was going to do to prepare the home to make it ready to sell is completed so that what I put online shows the house in its absolute best light!

When a home still has work that needs to be done to prepare it for showings, what does a Coming Soon listing really accomplish? Will it cause someone to wait a week or two until it’s ready to show ? Likely not. Let me share a story. When showing homes recently I had a seller who told me they unfortunately could not allow us to show that day. It was a new listing, just put into the MLS, and yet due to them not having it completely ready to go once it hit the market, they were not prepared for showings and my clients ended up finding another house that day and putting an offer on another home. My message is that home buyers, if they find a perfect fit, are not going to wait a “day,” much less a week or two for a Coming Soon listing if they find something they like short term.

While the desire is to rush a home onto the market as fast as possible, hence the creation of Coming Soon marketing, I find it’s best to make sure the home is 100% ready to show and list it when the house is ready. Anything short of that will not only “not” create a buyer for you, but it might cost you one.

What About Zillow Coming Soon Listings?

Going back to my friend Bill Gassett one more time, he comments on Zillow Coming Soon listings to expound on the fact that, “Zillow has also jumped on board with the “coming soon” real estate marketing. On their platform, agents who advertise with Zillow can use this feature. Essentially, Zillow is shining a bright light on those real estate agents who spend money advertising with them.

Zillow allows listings to be marketed as pocket listings for up to thirty days before they hit the market. All leads are funneled directly to the listing agent.

Again, for the unsuspecting homeowner who has placed trust with their real estate agent, this kind of marketing can put a seller at a disadvantage. You are not only NOT exposing the home to the masses, but you are dramatically increasing the odds of dual agency.

The goal of every real estate agent should be to get their seller client the absolute best terms and conditions. Coming soon, however, in most cases is going to circumvent that possibility. I would call it legal shenanigans!

An unexplained pocket listing hurts the clients best interests. It is a self-serving marketing activity that benefits the listing agent. The basis for the MLS has been to freely share information with as many people as possible.

Exposure on the MLS ultimately leads to more eyeballs on a property, increasing the odds the seller gets better terms for their home.

Of course, Zillow doesn’t care. From their inaccurate online estimates to posting properties that are not for sale, Zillow does whatever benefits them.”

Don’t forget, Zillow “coming soon,” may produce views, but add the views on an “active listing” from Realtor.com, the brokerage company website you list your home with, the MLS, Redfin, and the thousands of websites online an active “for sale” listing happens to be listed on and it dwarfs the exposure of a single solitary “Coming Soon,” even on Zillow.

To me, the negatives outweigh any positives once again from gimmicks that may seem to be smart upfront, but when you think about them they lack a care and concern for the client and their best interests, which is normally getting maximum exposure for your home and getting that home in front of as many eye-balls as possible to attract as many qualified buyers to your listing as possible.

Get My List of Local TOP Homes
I can send you a list of handpicked homes for you and your family to look at.
No, thanks I'm not interested

Let's Talk Real Estate!

chat_bubble
close
Get A FREE Home Valuation!
LET'S DO IT!
X