When should a listing go “on the market”, and what constitutes being on the market? Often we’ll take a new listing with the understanding that it won’t be placed into the Austin MLS until the pre-sale checklist is complete. That checklist includes preparation that the seller needs to complete so that the home can be properly presented to the market from the first day in the MLS.
For some sellers, this involves just minor straightening up. For others, it’s major decluttering, repairs, painting, landscaping, etc. Once the home is prepared, we send the stager, photographer and virtual tour people. Once we have the virtual tour and the photos, the home is ready to be listed in the MLS.
Meanwhile, we often place a sign in the yard with a rider that says “Coming Soon”. We’ll also contact agents that work the area in which the listing is located and let them know we have a new one on the way. Sometimes, this results in a sale before we ever make it into the MLS. Such is the outcome with one of our current listings, which received multiple offers before it was officially “on the market”.
How does this happen?
Pre-marketing a listing can create a sense of urgency for a buyer who wants a specific location and/or type of home. Often the buyer has either ruled out all current inventory or there simply is no invetory that matches what they want, and the “coming soon” listing becomes the only match. The urgency and motivation come into play when the candidate buyer knows that other buyers (potential competitors) will also be interested in the home once they learn of it. By making an early offer before the listing is placed in the Austin MLS, a buyer can benefit from being in the right place at the right time and beat others to the listing.
The seller benefits by avoiding the full MLS marketing process and the disruptions that showings cause. At home workers, or stay at home Moms with small children really value this. Instead of a potential 1, 2 or 3+ months of keeping the dishes washed, the beds made, the house clean, and being ready to depart the home with 1 hour notice, the seller can relax and be happy with the quick sale.
The downside for a seller could be that the market may have set a higher price if competitive bids had been received from multiple buyers. But, as listing agents, we know that even a hot property is restricted by the potential appraisal value that the buyer’s lender will use to grant the loan. So when a seller can achieve a purchase price at or close to the list price (market value per market analysis), it’s almost always going to be wise to go with it rather than roll the dice on holding out for a higher price.
When you’re ready to list your home, ask your listing agent about a “Coming Soon” sign to be used in the time frame leading up to the house going live in the MLS. Maybe you’ll get lucky and have an quick offer and avoid the full effort.