There really isn’t any sign more confusing to consumers than a real estate sign in front of a house that says Coming Soon!
It’s easy to understand a movie trailer that Muppets Most Wanted is coming soon.
Or that the new 2015 VW Beetle is coming soon.
Or that the new iPhone 6 will be coming soon.
Each of these statements can create a little excitement — anticipation is a natural stimulant. There is probably something right now that you can think of that will give you a jolt of excitement. See!
Coming Soon adds to the excitement, right?
And then there is Phil Dunphy, a fictional TV Realtor, who has placed a Coming Soon sign in front of a wonderful house in a neighborhood that you know you can afford. You know, it’s the neighborhood close to work, which feeds into the right schools, or near your friend Phyllis.
The frustrating thing is that often you will see the sign… only to see an Under Contract sign two days later. Plus it never showed up in your Zillow alert, or Trulia email.
Phil, how did that happen?
There isn’t an establish Realtor protocol on this type of advertising. Maybe there is an individual office policy, but, the sign means nothing other than the house is for sale right now.
Yes, right now.
It means the house is for sale right now!
The real estate profession has allowed a subculture of misleading advertising to surface. Understand that not every real estate company/agent/broker is a member of the National Association of Realtors which prides itself on a long established Code of Ethics which specifically outlines, in Article 12, misleading advertising to the public is a no-no. But, in my opinion, if a Realtor has a Coming Soon sign out there for an extended period then there is an issue.
It is an epidemic…
For example, last week I was looking at real estate in Vienna when I saw a sign in front of a house on a street that I have always liked. The house looked abandon and was in terrible condition… a classic Vienna tear down opportunity.
And guess what, the sign said Coming Soon.
This could have meant that a new home was coming soon which, in my opinion, is a justifiable use of the sign. And since it was potentially a house that my client may want to buy I decided to call the agent.
What she said to me totally pissed me off. In over 20 years in real estate I have never, ever, wanted to tell off another real estate broker as much as when I sat in my car.
You see, that house was totally for sale and, “if I submitted an offer over $600k”, then it could be mine.
Okay, maybe that agent was trying to get the highest offer but why have a Coming Soon sign?
Am I the only one who feels this is confusing? Yikes!
If you are a buyer looking at homes and you have seen Coming Soon signs, then you need to know that is an invitation to write up an offer. In a competitive market where homes sell in days, if not hours, then you need to have your agent collect as much research as possible today so you can make an educated offer.
My tips include looking at the tax records, zooming in on Google satellite views, driving past looking for additions or updates, checking out the neighbor’s house and what similar nearby homes recently sold for. Your buyer agent should be able to really give you good ideas.
What you also might not realize is that Listing Agreement (between the owner and his Realtor) clearly states that the agent will present any and all written offers. Their agent has a contractual obligation to her client to present your offer. Submit now please…
Competitive real estate markets across the United States have home buyers taking aggressive strategies like writing personal letters or going door to door. In my opinion, the door to door strategy is not a good idea for safety reasons but I have read about people doing it. Over the years, I have used many strategies to help clients buy homes that weren’t technically on the market.
When might the seller respond to your offer? Again, there is no set rule unless you add in a deadline.
But hey, don’t be surprised if you do get a response and get the house.