Have you ever been driving through a neighborhood and noticed a pending sign in front of a home? Yet driving that road every day, you know you’ve never seen a for sale sign go up?  Most of America, when searching for homes, has come to rely on the platforms of Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, Trulia and the likes. Maybe this sounds familiar to you? As a buyer this can be frustrating. Especially if it is a neighborhood you have been diligently stalking waiting for a home to go up for sale. As a potential seller, you may be curious to know how they were able to sell their home without appearing to even have gone on the market in the first place?

Would it surprise you to know there is a category of homes that these websites do not receive information on to advertise to you?  That no matter how you adjust your filters, these homes will not show up in any of your searches? Today we are talking about Coming Soon homes… what they are, how they can be  beneficial for sellers and how as buyers, you can find them! 

What are Coming Soon Homes? 

“Coming Soon” refers to properties that are officially on the market, but with limited advertising. In fact they are not yet available for showings.  Associations across the United States vary on how long a home can be advertised as coming soon. The guideline set by the National Association of Realtors is not more than 30 days.  Covered by the Regional MLS and the Willamette Valley MLS, the Portland to Albany area allows sellers 21 days. Sellers can choose any date within 21 days from signing their listing contract with their agent, to start showing.

A little background on coming soon homes. The National Association of Realtors voted in Nov 2019 to ban off-market and pocket listings that agents held. This vote was in effort to make sure every agent cooperates in sharing all information to all members. Information about any property they know of for sale or sign a contract to come on the market soon. The new rule took effect January 1, 2020. Enforcement of this, now requires all agents to upload their listings to their local multiple listing service, (known as the mls) within one day of going under contract with a seller.

Within 24 hours of a Realtor and seller signing an agreement to work together to sell a property, the Realtor now uploads the new listing to the mls . This notifies all Realtors in that mls, of a new property listed for sale and “coming soon” for showings.  As not available for showings the outside platforms, (Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin and the likes) are not notified. Platforms that many buyers rely on in their home search. If you search for a coming soon home on these platforms, the homes will reflect as off market and not for sale. 

Benefits For a Seller

For Sellers, coming soon, instead of going on the market immediately, has a few benefits.  First and foremost, it allows time to to get the home ready. De-cluttering and cleaning are a given. But it also allows time for the owner and agent to coordinate minor things to be completed. Thus allowing the home to showcase in its best light. With hopes to bring in the best offer.  This might include numerous small things. Paint touch ups. Staging areas of the home. Fixing small things that have broken. Adding lighting in some rooms. Planting a flowers for curb appeal, etc. All things that take a small bit of time to accomplish. 

Having the home marketed as coming soon, creates a buzz.  Which is another benefit the Seller can take advantage of. Similar to a new phone being advertised that will be on the market soon, or a new movie “coming to theaters near you”, the “coming soon” designation creates a sense of anticipation. A fear of missing out. It creates an urgency that people want to be a part of. Generating this interest in a home, many times, reduces the time the home is on the market. Buyers that like the home, will often offer aggressively and quickly, with the aim to get it off the market. Hopefully before too many other buyers see it. For a seller, this may mean less number of times having to leave the house for showings, yet still receive a great offer.  This is especially good if the seller is looking to purchase with the need to have their departure home under contract in order to have their purchase offer accepted elsewhere.

Benefits for a Buyer

Knowing a home is coming soon gives buyers a one step advantage in front of competition. Not all buyers know how to find these homes if there is not a “coming soon” for sale sign in the yard. Which sometimes there is, and other times, not.  It also allows buyers two things. 

First,  allowing time to have their pre-approval dialed in and/or proof of funds ready in the event the buyer likes the home.  Time also to coordinate in advance, their schedule. Coordinating for a window of time to see the home as soon as it comes on the market. This, versus scrambling to adjust at the last minute to see a home, that is already calling for all offers due in a short couple of days or even sometimes hours.  In fact, if coordinated to see the house the morning it goes active for showings, a buyer could deliver an offer right away before many others even have a chance to see the house, if they like it.

Secondly, it allows a buyer to offer on a home before it officially hits the market. This, effectively eliminating near to all competition.  If you have been stalking a neighborhood you know you want to live in, or a particular house you have seen before that you know you love, you may be willing to offer sight unseen. If aggressive enough, the seller may accept your offer before it is even ready for showings.  Benefit to you, possibly getting it off the market unbeknownst to many other buyers. Benefit to the seller, never needing to adjust their schedule for people to parade through their house for showings. Of course this offer is not always accepted. Some seller’s feel the first offer is only a taste of what is to come. They may not realize it may be the best offer they get until they entertain other offers by letting the home go on the market for a few days. Other times it is a relief to a seller and they will jump on it.

Surprising How Many Homes Sell Under 24 Hours

I ran numbers today (May 11, 2022) and of the homes sold in Yamhill county last month, (April 2022) 10 homes sold before they even hit the market.  10 Homes Had ZERO Days On The Market.  Another 8, sold within the first 24 hours.  In all, 13% of the homes sold in Yamhill County last month, sold in less than 24 hours.  Narrowing it down even more, of those homes, 7 of the 45 homes sold in Newberg were in 0-24 hours, 15%! In McMinnville, of the 38 homes sold, 7 were in 0-24 hours, that was 18% of McMinnville’s homes sold! (Almost every 1 in 5!) In a market that already feels there are not enough homes on the market to see or choose from, missing out on 13-18% of them, limits you even more.  

How to Find Coming Soon Homes

So how do you find out about these homes?  As mentioned, these homes are advertised in the local MLS which all Realtors have access to.  Talk with your agent. Make sure they know you want to be notified by them, of any coming soon homes in the area that you are looking. They can then keep a watch and email the listings to you as they hot the mls, so you can look to see if it may be of interest to you. If you do not have an agent, give me a call, I’d would love to work with and assist you!

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