What is a Coming Soon Home in the Real Estate Market?

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Coming Soon Homes are the New (but different) Pocket Listings

Pocket listings are virtually extinct. The National Association of Realtors, NAR, has effectively banned the million-plus Realtors across the country from using the tactic. NAR instituted a new policy called the “MLS clear cooperation policy” which requires any Realtor to enter their “Pocket Listing” into the MLS within 1 business day of publicly advertising it (unless the seller signs a refusal of service). Entering a listing into the MLS means it is syndicated to all the other MLS members (mostly Realtors) and typically broadcast out to thousands of public websites like Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.

Pocket listings used to be “secret or private listings” that a Realtor held onto and tried to find a buyer on their own before publishing that listing publicly in an MLS system (so home buyers and other agents couldn’t find it online). There were two significant potential problems with this practice. The first being the Realtor putting their interest before their clients in trying to “double-end” the deal or represent both the buyer and the seller by finding the buyer on their own. The second being the private sale putting the home at a disadvantage and selling for less than what it might be worth on the public real estate market. The real estate market is the home seller’s best friend. Putting the home for sale on thousands of websites through an MLS system helps ensure the property will obtain market value.

What is a Coming Soon home and how can I find it?

In their “pocket listing ban” NAR did not prohibit coming soon listings in MLS systems. From the Q. and A. section on the policy:

Q. If the MLS has established a coming soon status, or other pre-marketing solution that shares listing data with all MLSs participants and subscribers, does that comply with the cooperation requirements of the policy? A. Yes.

Portland’s real estate market is primarily served by an MLS called RMLS and RMLS does have a coming soon policy.

A coming soon home is a home that is viewable online in the RMLS system by all RMLS members, which means all Realtors in the area and some other industry professionals like appraisers and government housing officials, but is not viewable by the general public and cannot be found online by anyone who is not a paying member of the RMLS system.

So you cannot see coming soon homes unless you’re a paying member of a local MLS system. This sounds an awful lot like the bad industry practice formerly known as pocket listings, but it is not.

Coming Soon Listings can be Good for Sellers

Part of the rules that come with coming soon homes is there are no showings allowed. Coming soon means no showings, the home is not on the public real estate market – yet. It allows the home to be seen as an online preview by all the local Realtors in the area so they can give their buyer a head’s up on when that property is coming to market, but they cannot show it to their buyers until it is publicly available and displayed on the thousands of real estate websites that MLS systems syndicate out to. This means coming soon homes don’t result in private, secret, or off-market home sales. Rather, the coming soon status builds up steam in advance of going on the public market and potentially gets the home more interest when that property goes “live”.

How can buyers take advantage of coming soon homes?

In Portland’s fast-moving real estate market home buyers are looking for any advantage they can find. If home buyers cannot find what they’re looking for searching available online home for sale inventory, they can connect with a local RMLS member, a local Realtor, and get access to coming soon information. They cannot go tour these homes, but they can know about what is coming and schedule in advance to see these homes the day they hit the public real estate market. This is a true advantage a savvy home buyer can use.

Experienced Realtors use Coming Soon Homes to Help Buyers and Sellers

If you’re looking for top 1% sellers’ agents that utilize the coming soon status to great effect, check out our services here. If you’re a home buyer that wants to see all available inventory including what is coming in the near future, contact our top 1% buyers’ agents. We are members of multiple MLS systems throughout Oregon and Washington.

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