Pocket Listings Vs Coming Soon Homes for Sale

For anyone wanting to buy a home in Portland before 2019, pocket listings were a common practice here and across the country until the National Association of Realtors effectively banned them. In essence, this type of listing consisted of privately owned homes on the market that agents kept “secret” lists of and shared with small pools of potential buyers, including their own clients.

What we now call “coming soon” homes replaced the practice of pocket listings. With this newer type of listing, a seller’s agent can list the home in the MLS before it goes public so buyer’s agents in the area can give potential buyers a heads up about the coming property. No showings can happen until the home is officially listed for the public to see, but by having the information ahead of time, buyers agents can set a date on their calendar with their buyers, scheduling in advance, for a viewing as soon as the public listing goes live. These types of listings can only be viewed through a member-only MLS portal. Learn more about the RMLS “coming soon” rules.

How are “Coming Soon” Real Estate Listings Good for Sellers?

Because the coming soon listing is viewable online only to member-only Realtors, the main advantage for the seller is that it can build interest with potential home buyers who aren’t finding what they want currently active on the market, and gets a kind of momentum going around the property before the home is publicly listed. This increases the likelihood of a line of interested buyers ready and waiting to get a first look at the property. And honestly, it increases the chances of a bidding war on the property which is what the seller wants (not the buyer).

Coming Soon Listings are Better than Pocket Listings for Sellers

This is a massive improvement over the old pocket listing model, where the seller took on an enormous risk of not selling at market value. Only a true market (a huge pool of potential buyers, the bigger the better) can provide confidence for a seller that their product (the home) was able to obtain a price that represented its current value.

How are “Coming Soon” Real Estate Listings Good for Buyers?

In Portland’s ever changing real estate market, and especially when buyers outnumber available inventory, potential home buyers need all the help they can get. When a buyer works with a top buyer’s agent who utilizes coming soon listings, they can rest assured they won’t miss out on a potential new home that might fit their needs. They will have advance warning on nearly everything about to hit the market. And when they get frustrated when they can’t find anything on the market they like, they’ll have something to look forward to.

Coming Soon Listings are Better than Pocket Listings for Buyers

Sure, the occasional pocket listing might have snagged a buyer an incredible deal. But the whole process was inequitable and in constant danger of violating equal opportunity housing laws. Buyers likely missed out of tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of home opportunities they never had access to because some Realtor or another was holding them back from public view and only sharing them with a select few.

Coming Soon Regulations are Different from Place to Place

The local MLS sets some coming soon rules, though they must comply with the general NAR ban on pocket listings. Here in Portland, served by RMLS, coming soon listings may not be publicly advertised online outside of the member only portal (no other websites). They can’t be physically advertised either, other than a yard sign that must include a coming soon notice on it. Coming soon rules here allow for a 21 day period posting in the private MLS (no longer) before the home goes on the public market. And as mentioned, no showings are allowed while the home is in coming soon status, only when it becomes publicly available so everyone has a chance to view the property.

Work with a Top Real Estate Agent

If you’re searching for that perfect home on your own, you’ll miss getting this valuable heads up about coming soon listings. And if you’re attempting a For Sale by Owner outside the MLS, you’ll miss the opportunity to pique the interest of potential buyers before your listing goes live. But when you work with our top 1% buyer’s agents or our top 1% seller’s agents, you’ll get the running start you need to find your next home or sell your current home. Call us today or chat with the bot on our site, and we’ll be happy to share any and all homes in the Portland metro area that fit your needs.

August 22, 2022
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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