If you are even casually looking at real estate in the Middle Tennessee area, you have probably noticed houses that proceed from “Coming Soon” straight to “Sold”. You may be wondering – what happened to “For Sale”? Realtors commonly refer to this situation as a “presale”. In other words, the Sellers found a Buyer without having to actually list the home on the multiple listing service (“mls””). If you are thinking of buying and selling, it is a good idea to learn more about how this works, and how you can create opportunities for yourself.
The Coming Soon Sign
For Sellers, the Coming Soon sign is a good way to generate interest in the days or weeks before a house hits the market. Buyers often have contacts in their target neighborhoods who are likely to let them know about new signs, and sometimes the Buyers themselves will spend a Saturday driving through their favorite areas looking for FSBO properties or properties that are preparing to hit the market. Generating interest in advance can lead to a rush of Buyers scheduling showings once the property is listed, and sometimes that can lead to a multiple-offer bidding war!
Turning “Coming Soon” into “Sold”
When a property displays a Coming Soon sign, the house is not yet on the market – which means it does not appear in online searches and will not appear in Realtors’ mls notifications or searches. Buyers can find Coming Soon opportunities a few ways. As mentioned above, Buyers may stumble upon a Coming Soon property by driving by or by receiving word from a neighbor who saw a sign. There are other ways to find these potential “presale” opportunities:
- Realtor Blast Emails: Most Realtors have the ability to send a blast email to other Middle Tennessee Realtors asking for information on properties that may be coming soon in a particular area. Your Realtor will likely cover the cost for the email as part of their services to you.
- Nextdoor messages: If you belong to a Nextdoor neighborhood network in your target neighborhood, or you have a friend who does, you can post a request to learn about any properties that are likely to be listed in the near future. Your Realtor can do this as well if they belong to the neighborhood network.
- Flyers: If your target area is fairly small, you might consider leaving flyers or notes at houses that you believe might fit your criteria. Your Realtor can access tax information (square feet, number of bedrooms, etc…) about the homes in various neighborhoods and create a list of houses that might be good candidates for you. Realtors can also create mailing labels for those homes if you would like to mail a postcard or brief letter.
Locating a Coming Soon property is only part of the battle. For the reasons discussed in the next section, Sellers often do not want to sell prior to listing the home. But, you can hopefully get valuable information about the expected list date, list price and characteristics of the home.
Advantages and Disadvantages for Sellers
As the saying goes, your house is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Appraisals and Realtor research can give us a good idea of a home’s likely sale price, but absent a willing Buyer we can’t know with certainty what a house will actually bring. When a house is listed in the mls and the listing is broadcast across the internet on the various listing sites, Sellers have the opportunity to test the market and possibly even allow for competition between multiple Buyers.
Posting a Coming Soon sign is a good way to generate interest (and competition) prior to listing the home. Sometimes, it is in a Seller’s best interest to pursue a presale, never actually listing the property. These reasons could include privacy concerns, scheduling concerns or even concerns about what to do with the family pets during showings. Also, sometimes the most highly motivated Buyers are the Buyers who have been dedicated to watching the neighborhood waiting for an opportunity to pounce! In those instances, Buyers might offer top dollar in order to ensure that they can purchase the home without the possibility of a multiple offer bidding war.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking to buy or sell, your Realtor should be able to discuss these strategies with you, and might even have other great ideas about how best to navigate presale opportunities.