Is That “For Sale” Home Days Away From Market? Or Decades??

[Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]

Perishable food must display an expiration date.

Similarly, to take advantage of MLS’s brand new listing status, “Coming Soon,” homes must have an “Availability Date.”

Other key features of the new MLS status (abbreviation: “CSN”), which officially launched November 14:

–“Coming Soon” properties can’t be shown — doing so is a $1,000 fine.
–The Availability Date must be within 3 weeks.
–At least one photo must accompany the Coming Soon listing within 2 business days.
–All other MLS fields must be completed. That includes price, house spec’s (finished square feet, foundation size, etc.), and the payout commission being offered to the Buyer’s agent.
–Listing agents only get “one bite at the apple”: they can remove a property from “CSN” status at any time, but can’t subsequently re-list it that way, or otherwise re-start the 3 week clock.**

No More “Wild West”

My sense is that there are two goals behind “Coming Soon”:  1) capture on MLS an increasing amount of off-market, pre-list activity that, frankly, had grown a bit out of control the last several years; and 2) impose some order on exactly what “Coming Soon” means, while reining in some of the more egregious listing agent behavior.

So, even though “Coming Soon” properties weren’t supposed to be shown before, either, my Realtor’s sense is that adherence to that rule was, shall we say, “inconsistent.”

The usual scenario: a listing agent casting about for an unrepresented Buyer.

Too, while some listing agents properly limited “Coming Soon” exposure to a few weeks or less, others kept their listings in limbo seemingly for months (see, “attracting unrepresented Buyers”).

The Opposite of an Expiration Date

Will “Coming Soon” on MLS catch on?

Stay tuned.

As of this afternoon, there were only 23 Twin Cities properties listed as “Coming Soon” (vs. over 12,000 listed “For Sale”).

P.S.: I was going to run this post a few weeks ago, but didn’t have time to finish it before CSN went live. My placeholder title: “Coming Soon . . . . ‘Coming Soon!'” (of course).  🙂

**Once a home is officially “Active” on MLS, agents can do what’s called a “cancel-and-relist” to re-set the Days on Market field.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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