With the passing of the Clear Cooperation Policy, many MLSs around the nation created a new status called ‘Coming Soon’. There are many different versions of Coming Soon policies so you cannot say that a Coming Soon Policy in one market is the same as a Coming Soon Policy in another.
The thesis to creating a Coming Soon policy is to address a very real circumstance that faces nearly every property sale in America – houses are not perfect. Generally, a property is listed by the brokerage and often goes under contract with a buyer before the home has been inspected for rather important things like a leaking roof, faulty wiring, etc. As a result, the items in the inspection need to be mitigated, which causes a secondary process of negotiation or repair.
Many brokerages have created programs that will inspect, repair, and improve homes before they are marketed. To help the seller, brokers even provide the cash for the repair and coordinate with the contractors. The payment for these improvements comes out of the transaction at closing; to allow for this, the broker needs a contract with the seller before advancing the cash. So, the property is listed but marked ‘coming soon’ so that it is not shown to prospective buyers until the repairs are done.
Of course – like all policies – there are some Realtors that misuse ‘coming soon’ to create time to market the property before it is active in the MLS to generate leads or possibly double side the transaction. I believe that this data from the 2021 NAR Member Profile reports that 34% of real estate transactions are double sided.
Double siding a transaction is legal, but a hot debate topic among professionals. Personally, I would be more likely to list with a broker who already has buyers for my home (think Buyside) and plans to market my property in the MLS.
MLS Now was getting complaints from subscribers that listings were being entered into the MLS on Friday and marked available for showing on Monday. By the time Monday rolled around, the listing was under contract – frustrating the buyer agent and their buyer. Listings were being sold sight unseen.
For now, sellers who need home repairs will need to list the property as Temporarily Off Market (TOMK) until the listing becomes active in the MLS.
Below is the press release from MLS Now detailing the approval of the board to end the policy.
MLS Now to Eliminate Coming Soon Status
Cleveland, Ohio | June 18, 2021 |MLS, Press Release
Since May of 2016 when we first approved the Coming Soon listing status in our MLS, we have suffered unintended consequences. “It seems we were always amending the rule to make it fit business practices”, said James Fox, Chairman of MLS Now, Ohio’s largest MLS.
Coming Soon status indicates that the broker and the seller are preparing the property for sale and for marketing as Active status. This status is for short term use preparatory to Active status, 14 days or less, and must have a listing agreement and seller(s) written authorization using the MLS Now Coming Soon Listing Seller Authorization Form, or such other authorization form as the listing broker may choose that contains similar disclosures. MLS Now does not permit showings of any kind during the Coming Soon status.
One of the complaints we have heard about Coming Soon listings is they can be entered in the MLS on a Friday night with an active date the following Monday morning for showings. Many agents complained that while they had scheduled a showing on said property for that Monday morning only to be told the house was already under an agreement of sale. When they asked how that can be since no showings were permitted? They were told it was sold “unseen”. There were many other problems and issues raised about Coming Soon status as it had become the most common complaint the MLS Now staff received from membership for the past year.
“Today the MLS Now Board of Directors met and as staff reported on the Coming Soon status and were suggesting possible changes to the Rule to help improve the situation, it was mentioned that since the Coming Soon status was designed to improve activity on listings and almost every listing in the MLS is generating sometimes dozens of bidders and properties selling in record time at higher than the listed price on average, why do we need the Coming Soon listing status at all.
After discussion, a motion was made and approved to eliminate the Coming Soon status from MLS Now effective August 1, 2021. Between now and August 1st the MLS Now staff will be busy educating members about the change to make this as smooth a transition as possible” said Carl DeMusz, MLS Now, CEO.
About MLS Now
MLS Now is Ohio’s largest MLS, serving 13,800 subscribers belonging to 13 Associations of
REALTORS®, across 36 primary counties in Ohio and West Virginia. MLS Now is one of the most recognized MLSs in its area, standing out through a commitment to digital tools and resources for members. For more information visit mlsnow.com (https://mlsnow.com/).