Written in rebuttal to this article, in which Richard Montgomery asserts that marketing a home before it hits MLS is a poor sales strategy.
As we say in the South, “Bless your heart!”
I couldn’t agree less with your article on promoting a home as a “Coming Soon” listing before opening the home for full-blown showings in MLS. Here’s why:
Claim #1: The term [off-market listing] is similar to “pocket listings,” or another recent term, “coming soon” listings.
An off-market listing is NOT similar to a Coming Soon listing. But don’t just take my word for it:
As a listing status, “Coming Soon” is gaining popularity and momentum; it’s currently included in several MLS systems. Even Zillow devotes a section of their website to Coming Soon listings.
Claim #2: No exposure [to interested buyers] is the principal reason there is no cause to consider utilizing off-market listings, or some form of this strategy, to sell your home.
We pioneered ComingSoonHomes.com, a real estate pre-marketing platform, to maximize home exposure to buyers and agents with buyers.
It’s outdated to think that on the weekend an agent inputs a home into the local MLS, the BEST buyer will be searching MLS-syndicated websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia within 48-72 hours, to find it.
There are more eyes on Facebook than the local MLS. According to Statista.com, the number of Facebook users in the United States is expected to reach 207.36 million” in 2018.
Agents continue to have “herd mentality” while technology advances and the business world around them changes daily. In real estate, team leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets will reshape the services we offer buyers and sellers.
ComingSoonHomes.com is one such service.
Claim #3: Some real estate agents see the overheated market as an opportunity to collect both the listing side and the selling side of the commission the sale generates.
I agree wholeheartedly. Any agent that does business to collect a double-sided commission is short-sighted and a detriment to our industry. This type of agent is not a long-term player that loves real estate and the opportunities it creates.
We see ComingSoonHomes.com as fulfilling one’s fiduciary duty to a home seller by exposing and promoting their home to all the buyers, not just the first few that happened to be in MLS the first weekend we put the home on the market.
We NEVER sell a home before we go active in all MLS, giving all agents and buyers the opportunity to bid on the home. Our team agents don’t get first rights over showings—they compete fairly within the open market. The object of Coming Soon Homes is to give the seller the full benefit of the raging sellers’ market, not the agent.
Claim #4: When a market is “hot” the essential factor creating its “hotness” is an abundance of eager home buyers. Withholding the property from the MLS is restricting access to it.
Coming Soon listings go active in MLS when we open the home for showings, so this does not apply.
Claim #5: The home seller will never know what the home may have sold for in an open market.
A seller will never know what their home might have sold for if the agent does not pre-market the home to find all buyers, not just the first few that see the home on MLS. What about the 5 buyers that didn’t have time to conduct an online search the first weekend the house was available but would have bought the home when they found it, the following weekend?
Most agents have a one-and-done attitude. They tell the seller, “Your first buyer is your best buyer,” and move on to next commission. The first days of any listing are when the seller and his agent have the strongest negotiating power to win the highest price and best terms. Any experienced agent knows that every day a home spends on the market, the sellers’ negotiating power weakens.
By promoting all of our homes on ComingSoonHomes.com, we frontload the critical first days of each new listing with action from buyers and agents.
Let’s get our heads around the fact that MLS is not our sole provider of value to our seller clients.
Claim #6: Home buyers would love this [off-market] scenario [since they] would forego the pressure of competition.
Since ComingSoonHomes.com is a national, pre-marketing website promoting listings that do go active in MLS (NOT a secret, pocket listing scenario), this does not apply.
I will say that ready, willing, and able buyers love our site. From the comfort of their living rooms, buyers can ‘drive by’ an upcoming listing, check out all the details as we create the home’s online profile, and be ready to win the home when it hits the market.
Reduced competition is not in the cards—any buyer visiting ComingSoonHomes.com can see the number of people that previewed each Coming Soon listing, which speaks to how much interest each home has generated before going live.
Because they are aware of the competition, serious buyers often make their first offer their best offer.
Claim #7: Agent Marcia Cotlar complains that “Sellers could stand to lose as much as 25 percent of their homes’ value by going under contract before hitting the market.”
You cannot have the full market bid if the agent’s only hope is that all eyes will be in MLS data points the opening weekend.
Here’s the point—you don’t have a Black Friday sale without a build-up of promotion. Apple has been pre-marketing successfully for years, and turned this marketing approach into a work of art!
We’ve done the same thing for selling homes through ComingSoonHomes.com. Our national website and accompanying internet and social media promotion is a proven way to increase multiple offers and to win the highest, best offer for a seller.