"Coming Soon" Signs: What's The Point?

Realtors in our region are increasingly using a device common in movie theatre lobbies: the Coming Soon Sign. 

The signs crop up in tight markets, when low inventory leaves buyers desperate for new listings. They are generally used to create excitement about a house that is coming on the market but might not be quite ready for viewing, perhaps needing to be painted or staged.

Real estate industry leaders complain that they can also be used for another purpose; witholding a house from the open market while forcing potential buyers to call the listing agent if they want more information. That can generate new leads for the listing agent - or even result in them representing both buyer and seller in the transaction - a relationship fraught with potential conflicts of interest.

Buyers call the listing agent directly, the listing agent will show the property and sell it before it even gets on the open market. That may not be in the seller's best interest or fetch the best price.

If your listing is not exposed on your Boards' MLS System the following is true:

1. Fewer people will know the home is for sale (with only a sign)

2. The seller's ability to obtain the highest possible price for their home may be compromised, and 

3. Internet reach may be limited.

The greatest danger of this type of marketing is the risk the listing agent takes of violating his or her fiduciary duties to the seller. A licensed Realtor owes their client a duty of undivided care, loyalty and honesty. So that begs the question: is this marketing method done solely for the benefit and in the best interests of the seller or in the best interests of the listing agent?

We have almost 900 licensed realtors in the City of Barrie. As a Seller, wouldn't you want all of them, and all of their buyer clients, to be exposed to your property? 92% of homebuyers start their search online, with most starting with www.realtor.ca. Wouldn't you want your home to be featured there, for all to see, not just the people who drive by your house on their way to and from work?