MLS: “Immediate Possession Possible”

[Note to Readers: 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.]

“Minnesota Schools Will Close for Eight Days to Slow Coronavirus”

–Headline, Star Tribune (3/15/2020).

What do you suppose are the most difficult “For Sale” homes to get into now?

Ones owned by families with school-age children, who are likely going to be home the next few weeks almost everywhere in the country.

So, what do you think might be the easiest homes to view and potentially buy now?

My answer: vacant ones.

Realtor-speak for “Vacant”

Of course, circumspect listing agents (representing Sellers) never use the word “vacant” or “empty.”

Besides telegraphing undue Seller motivation, such language could also pose a security risk.

Instead, Realtors use synonyms — often in the Agent Remarks field only visible to other Realtors — such as “Immediate Possession” or “Quick Close.”

Perusing the local MLS, I found almost 400 “For Sale” homes in the Twin Cities using such language now.

Rough Estimate

In fact, that number likely overcounts explicitly vacant homes, due to overlap between the “Agent” and “Public Remarks” fields.

However, that may be (more than) offset by listings that decline to publicize whether the home is currently unoccupied — at least in my experience, the more common practice.

Regardless, savvy Buyers’ agents know that when showing requests are automatically approved, the odds increase that the home is unoccupied . . .

See also, “The Corollary to Buying a Home in a Pandemic: Selling One“; ““Buying a Home During a Pandemic”: The NYT Interviews 2 Minneapolis Couples“; and “Coronavirus and the Housing Market.”

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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