Coming soon to the MLS: a Valuable Selling Tool?
November 30, 2016
In my last blog entry, I discussed the recent controversy that’s been in the news about real estate agents who double end deals. The other development making news in the Toronto real estate world is “agents who advertise homes which aren’t yet on the MLS yet”, otherwise known as the ‘Coming Soon’ listing.
As anybody who has sold a home knows, a lot of work goes into preparing a home for sale, including minor (and occasionally major) repairs, decluttering, painting and staging. This can take weeks to complete. I often start the selling process several months before a home is ready to be listed, so I know well in advance when it will be on the market. As anyone who follows the market knows, many new listings are snatched up in a matter of days, if not hours. For a listing to get the exposure it deserves and to drum up some extra attention, agents will often put a sign on the front lawn advertising ‘Coming Soon’.
A recent article in the Toronto Sun pointed fingers at agents who advertise homes which aren’t yet listed on the MLS, saying that it was a way of selling them quickly. In this market, you don’t need to do that to have a property sell quickly. There’s also the issue of making sure the sign is compliant with the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s advertising rules, but that’s secondary.
So what is the controversy? Some believe that realtors are doing this to avoid listing the property on the MLS. I’m hesitant to believe that this is really a reasonable complaint because, in this heated market, not listing the property online reduces the number of people who will see it, therefore potentially resulting in a lower price for the seller. When I am working for a seller, obviously the goal is to get the highest price possible. This is a direct result of several buyers being interested and that is a result of the property getting maximum exposure to the market…. hence, the COMING TO MLS SOON sign.
There are two sides to the coin, of course. When a home receives a lot of exposure, it can result in a bidding war. For buyers, a multiple offer situation is one of the most frustrating experiences in today’s market. The buyer’s agent may list the home on a Thursday with a notice that they’re accepting offers the following Tuesday, allowing potential buyers to tour the home. But time and time again, a pre-emptive (or bully) offer comes in before the date and now you have to tell your buyers that if they want to make an offer, they have to do it NOW.
Pre-emptive offers can often be beneficial to the seller but sometimes they aren’t, because the property hasn’t been exposed to the market and they don’t know whether the offer in hand is the best they can do. It can be frustrating because buyers and their Realtors expect things to go in a particular way, to follow a particular process and it doesn’t always work out that way. Although as Realtors we do our best to be available to clients at all times, it’s impossible to be on call 24/7, which means it’s not always possible to put together a last minute offer.
Preparation is key when navigating through the Toronto market, multiple bids, offer dates and pre-emptive offers. One must have all their ducks in a row and you have to be ready to act fast. Having a Realtor on your side that understands the ins and outs of Toronto’s housing market is important and I’m here to help!
If you have any questions about navigating a multiple offer situation or Toronto’s real estate market in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!