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Is "Coming Soon" Going Away?

No More Private Listings (Beginning May 1)
Pocket Listings (also known as Private Listings) and their close cousin, the ‘Coming Soon’ property, are nothing new. Driven by today’s low inventory levels and enabled by technologies such as social media, there are new tactics being deployed by brokers and agents with a goal of gaining more buyers and selling properties faster. One that has been used for years (and you’ve heard about from me on this blog) is marketing a property before listing it on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) aka “Pocket Listings.

The tactic of pre-marketing a listing is used by brokers and agents to sell a home quickly and as a lead generation tool -- and potentially to represent both sides of the real estate transaction. This has led to many people wondering what the implications of this are to fair housing - if this practice is fair from a competition standpoint, and importantly, if it is best for Sellers. MLS around the country wrestled with the question of whether this practice undermines the basic tenet of a multiple listing service - clear and fair cooperation.

This tactic has been a growing concern noted by the National Association of Realtors. They have heard more and more frequently from their members nationwide as many markets struggle with low inventory levels, and an increasing tech-enabled use of pocket listings. That is why the National Association of REALTORS® added a new mandatory policy called ‘clear cooperation’ that REALTOR® association-owned MLSs must adopt prior to May 1, 2020. The rule states:

Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants.

Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.


What the Rule Means
The rule is simple but has wide-ranging impacts and consequences which are beginning to be explored.

The main takeaway: Within 1 business day of marketing a property, a property must be available in the MLS.

This means that within 1 business day of posting about a new listing on social media, it must be in the MLS with a signed listing agreement.

This means that within 1 business day of putting a sign in the yard, it must in the MLS with a signed listing agreement.

This means that within 1 business day of posting the ‘making of’ a photo shoot on social media, it must be in the MLS.


Why This Rule?
Ultimately, this is about fair housing.

By marketing a property only to your sphere or a select group of brokers, you can run into fair housing issues, and fair housing is not something to roll your eyes at. It’s an important public issue, and as of May 1 of this year, it’s about Clear Cooperation.

More to come on this in the weeks and months ahead…

Powers Realty Group is a distinctive boutique real estate broker focused on the needs of customers delivering exceptional results. We are the trusted local experts. Call us today about buying or selling your home.

Call Suzanne Powers