Why ‘Coming Soon’ Signs Shortchange Sellers…

November 14, 2016

by Flint Adam, Nolensville resident & Realtor®

Monday, November 14, 2016

Coming Soon signs are all the rage in real estate these days, but I’m beginning to wonder if they’re really in the best interest of the seller. I’ll admit – I’ve used them plenty, myself, over the past year, but I now believe they may be more hype than help.

In fact, they’re possibly doing sellers a disservice.

Two Reasons I Began Using Coming Soon Signs In The First Place

thumbs-upI aim for thoughtful strategy when I market homes and pay attention to various industry trends. The Coming Soon phenomenon really gained traction the past couple years and I noticed it got people’s attention! I, in fact, thought there were two real advantages for sellers:

  1. They serve as an announcement to the neighborhood that a home will soon be available for sale. This will arguably get neighbors talking and drum up phone calls before the home even reaches the Multiple Listing Service.

  2. There becomes a real possibility of receiving an offer before hitting MLS, thereby eliminating the need for many showings and saving the sellers some hassle.

Three Reasons Real Estate Agents Love Coming Soon Signs


Agents will tout those effective uses of Coming Soon signs I just mentioned, but they’ll likely keep in their hip pocket these next three reasons they *personally* like using them:

  1. If a Coming Soon property receives an offer before ever reaching MLS, there’s a good possibility the listing agent didn’t have to pay anything yet for their marketing. No pictures, no video, no ads. That’s cash kept in the agent’s pocket.

  2. A potential buyer might drive by or a neighbor may tip off someone they know who is interested in buying in the neighborhood, and this particular buyer may be unrepresented (agents love unrepresented buyers) because now there’s an opportunity to earn the entire brokerage fee instead of splitting it with another broker.

    3.  Selling a home pre-market makes it sound like the agent is super-awesome and sells homes real fast. Toot that horn!

Sounds pretty good for the agent! It can potentially be good for the seller, depending on their goals. But then again, it could short-change them…

What Coming Soon Signs May Actually Cost You

multiple offersOne of, if not the, biggest advantage of formally bringing your home to market is giving everyone an opportunity to see and bid on it. If your home is in marketable shape and correctly priced, then folks – there’s probably more than one suitable buyer for it! If you get enough of them together, by golly, you may just have yourself multiple bids!

There’s another phrase often used in conjunction with multiple bids: highest and best. When several potential buyers want the same home, someone must rise above the pack – and they accomplish that with the highest and best offer.

Here’s an example of how a Coming Soon sign may have cost a seller that highest and best opportunity:

A couple years ago, I was working with clients who saw a ‘coming soon’ sign on a home that they really wanted. I called up the listing agent for some info and to see when it was hitting the market. I was told that it was already under contract!

My clients were bummed, of course, but it wasn’t until the home closed that we discovered what an opportunity the sellers had missed out on – the home sold for $14,000 below list price. My clients had been ready to charge in with a full-price offer but never event got the chance.

What You Can Possibly Gain By Ditching The Coming Soon Sign

dollar signsHere’s an example of a recent listing I’ve had where not announcing a Coming Soon may have benefited the seller:

We specifically decided we would not be making any Coming Soon announcement – nor would we allow any early showings – despite some interest that had developed from neighborhood word-of-mouth.

This particular home was one I knew had the potential to move quickly based on condition and value. Heck, if we had done a ‘Coming Soon’, it undoubtedly could have sold pre-market – and probably at full asking price.

But instead – we stuck to the plan and made a formal listing on MLS when we were good and ready. There were 15 showings over the first four days. In fact, we had two offers on the table our second day on market!

I issued a Multiple Offer Notification and served notice that we would continue accepting offers for another two days. I called for highest and best. We wound up with four total offers – the first two having re-written theirs. All four offers wound up above asking price – two of them by a large margin. The offer we accepted was pretty amazing, and I’m sure it would have never come together like that had there not been multiple, competing bids and a home marketed to all of the MLS.

In Conclusion…

It’s worth considering trends, and at first glance I was enamored with ‘Coming Soon’ signs for my clients and for myself. But my business is about my clients – and their best interest – and after getting to know the ‘Coming Soon’ phenomenon better, it’s now my belief that this is not generally in a seller’s best interest, and therefore it’s no longer in my marketing arsenal unless a client specifically asks for this.

You should think long and hard about whether it’s in your best interest next time you sell a home, too.

Flint Adam, Nolensville TN Real Estate AgentFlint Adam and his family live in Nolensville’s Bent Creek community and he proudly focuses his real estate practice right here in Nolensville. Call him today at 615-500-6393 and discuss how he can help solve your real estate buying and selling needs.