Welcome to the new NNRMLS series called, “Value of the MLS: Best Practices”. In this post we will specifically address the “Coming Soon” status and include some best-practices, up-to-date statistics and a little history on how we developed the Coming Soon status at NNRMLS.
Tips for a Successful and Ethical Coming Soon Listing – First, some resources from the National Association of REALTORS®:
In the Latest on Coming Soon Listings article above, the author, NAR Senior Counsel Chloe Hecht, points to six “best practices for Coming Soon listings.” We’ve included those below with our commentary that relates to our local implementation in parentheses.
Coming Soon listings:
- Are only for properties under a signed listing agreement. (This is required in NNRMLS)
- Comply with all state licensing laws and regulations. (This is true at NNRMLS)
- Have a compelling reason that this tactic is in the best interest of the client. (Refer to articles linked above for more).
- Have the client’s informed consent in a thoroughly documented written agreement (NNRMLS requires every Coming Soon listing to have a fully executed Coming Soon Authorization Form. Also, NNRMLS is working with its REALTOR® Shareholder Partners to clarify the alignment between its Coming Soon form and the Exclusive Right to Sell form. These changes are scheduled to be implemented in January 2021.)
- Restrict showings and bids equally to all potential Buyers. (At NNRMLS Coming Soon listings are not allowed to be shown. All “bids,” otherwise known as offers, must be presented to sellers as directed by Nevada Revised Statutes 645.254.1
- Comply with MLS rules. (Brokers and Agents agree to this responsibility in writing when they become members of NNRMLS.)
Coming Soon Tips and Best Practices:
- Coming Soon listings cannot be shown, ever, to anyone. This includes live stream showings, however virtual tours and/or photos are allowed.
- Coming Soon is a status that does not allow showings. Hint: Think of “Coming Soon” as “Showings are Coming Soon.”
- The “Available for Showing” date is the date you plan to start showing your listing
- The ShowingTime calendar will be blocked until the “Available for Showing” date, however showings can be scheduled for ONLY the period after the “Available for Showing” date while the listing is in Coming Soon.
- If your plans to show the Coming Soon listing change then you must manually change the “Available for Showing Date” before you conduct any showings
- If you change “Available for Showing” before the date you originally picked the listing will change to “New” status on the newly specified day. The ShowingTime calendar automatically updates to reflect the change.
- Under NNRMLS policy, a listing status must accurately reflect the showing availability.
- Coming Soon listings are more restrictive than other Active listing types because not only are they subject to every rule of the NNRMLS, they have the additional rule that showings are not allowed.
- If a seller accepts a sight-unseen offer on a Coming Soon listing, whether or not there is a contingency involving the property being shown, the listing agent must update the listing status to Active-Pending or Pending to accurately reflect that an offer has been accepted. A listing cannot have an accepted offer and remain in Coming Soon; this is an inaccurate reflection of the listing status and is thus a violation of NNRMLS policy.
- Coming Soon listings can have up to 40 photos.
- Coming Soon listings can be advertised.
- A Coming Soon listing can have a for sale sign, but if it does, it must have a Coming Soon rider.
- Coming Soon listings can be in Coming Soon for a maximum of 21 days after the “Commencement Date” reflected on the listing contract. However that period can be shorter than 21 days if needed.
- In order to enter a Coming Soon listing into Paragon MLS, there must be a valid listing contract in effect and the listing date is the “Commencement Date” reflected on the listing contract.
- Listings cannot be in a Coming Soon status prior to the “Commencement Date.”
- All offers must be presented as per Nevada state law.
- All REALTOR® Ethics should be followed with special attention to Article 3
Coming Soon Statistics Report – Top Level Observation
Since implementing the Coming Soon policy, the average number of listings Withheld from NNRMLS has dropped by nearly 80 percent over the same months last year. Simply put, since Coming Soon has been in effect we have all witnessed a higher level of listing visibility. This increase of cooperation among the members of NNRMLS is pro-market, pro-consumer and pro-REALTOR®.
Key Stats for Coming Soon / May through August 2020
- 842 listings started as “Coming Soon”
- Less than one percent of the Coming Soon listings sold during this period were converted directly to an Off-Market status before the Available for Showing Date
- 446 listings that started as Coming Soon were sold
Detailed Coming Soon Stats
Here’s a detailed look at our Coming Soon and Withheld listing data since it was implemented on April 29, 2020 compared to last year.
What about Double-Ending?
Of all listings sold during the first four months since our implementation of NAR’s Clear Cooperation policy and our launch of Coming Soon, 92 percent of listings had the Buyer and Seller represented by different agents, 84 percent of listings had Buyer and Seller represented by Agents working in different offices. These two metrics are on track with those from the same time period last year before the Coming Soon status was implemented. Simply put: The launch of our Coming Soon status has thus far not resulted in an increase in double-ending.
Nothing to Worry About?
We wish this were the case! Here’s a trend our team is watching: The data tells us a number of listings are moving from the Coming Soon status directly into a Pending or Active-Pending status. Incidents of this type of status change represent less than five percent of Coming Soon activity. Historical data tells us that the rate of this happening is very close to what we saw before Coming Soon was implemented: Back then about the same amount of listings, on average, went from being on a Waiver to being entered into the MLS immediately as Active-Pending or Off-Market. Although the data tells us that the frequency of this happening hasn’t really changed, the increased listing visibility that Coming Soon provides allows the NNRMLS to more closely monitor this issue. In addition to this concerning trend, the NNRMLS team has received, and confirmed reports, of agents improperly using the Coming Soon status. The data only tells us part of the story – that’s why we believe that the success of Coming Soon depends on our members using it properly. Here’s what we’re doing to help:
- The NNRMLS Board of Trustees has formed a Listing Status Workgroup
- The NNRMLS team is also working with its Shareholder partners at Reno-Sparks
Association of REALTORS® and Sierra Nevada REALTORS® to get the word out in newsletters like this one and other methods, about best practices and ethics related to Coming Soon listings. Look for more on this from us and our Shareholders in the coming months.
- Continue to engage with you on this evolving topic
Coming Soon – A Brief History
How did we get here? For years many of our listing agents who used the “NNRMLS Sellers’ Waiver of Benefits” as a way to prepare their listings before showings, felt it was not a good fit for this purpose, but there was no better alternative at the time. This stemmed from the fact that the Waiver form was never meant to be used as a mechanism to facilitate a Coming Soon listing. However, that is what it had become. In fact, our data tells us that approximately 80 percent of the “Waivers” filed with the MLS facilitated some form of Coming Soon status. While these listings were “on a Waiver” they were not visible to other Brokers and Agents because they were not entered into the MLS. In our leadership’s opinion, this did not live up to the ideal of the MLS facilitating an orderly marketplace that exists because of cooperation among Brokers and Agents.
In November 2019, the National Association of REALTORS® approved and mandated the Clear Cooperation Policy and it established clear advertising rules surrounding Office Exclusive/Withheld listings. The NNRMLS leadership knew that the “Waiver” form days were numbered. Since that form was used for the dual purposes of facilitating an Office Exclusive/Withheld and a Coming Soon; a new system for both types of listings was needed for all of our Brokers and Agents to be able to continue to do business and remain in compliance with NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy.
On April 29, 2020, NNRMLS launched its Coming Soon listing status in Paragon MLS and its Clear Cooperation Policy surrounding Office Exclusive/Withheld listings mandated by NAR. In essence, Clear Cooperation retired the problematic and outdated MLS Waiver of Benefits form, but did not provide a clear path for the use case of taking a listing before the property was ready to show. This presented an opportunity for a solution that was long-desired…a Coming Soon status that could offer our members a new alternative for these listings that also resulted in greater listing transparency. We think that many of you will agree and some will not – regardless, we want to hear from you! Please take five minutes to complete the survey below.
Andrew Cristancho Director of Marketing at Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service