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Marketing A Home For Sale before it's Officially on the Market

Jessica Evans

For Jessica Evans, real estate is more than a job — it’s a way of life...

For Jessica Evans, real estate is more than a job — it’s a way of life...

Apr 21 4 minutes read

Not all homes are sold on the MLS (multiple listing service) which we typically consider to be an “on market sale”. Some homes are sold “off market” which means that they don’t get listed on the MLS, or they sell before their status is active.

It is our standard practice to consider both options when selling a home, and there are specific scenarios that may make either one a good fit for a seller’s goals. 

Here are two different pre-market options for sellers:

Coming Soon

Coming soon is a MLS status that allows a home to be publically marketed for sale before showings begin. This means that the home will be advertised to prospective buyers and agents before it can be shown. 

The benefits of coming soon are increased market exposure. This is helpful for both buyers and sellers in a fast moving market. For buyers, it allows them additional time to learn about a home and schedule a showing - when it may not be on the market for very long.

For sellers, it offers the opportunity to reach prospective buyers without the “days on market” beginning to accrue. Days on market can be used as a negotiation tool by buyers in some markets so it’s important for sellers to be mindful of this factor.

There aren’t many downsides of “coming soon” but one is that it is additional time where the home is ready for sale but not actively listed for sale. All home marketing  is really most effective with professional photos. It can be hard to generate interest without photos. At the same time, a seller may not have a home ready for photos before they are ready for showings to begin. The other downside is that buyers can’t view the home during this time and if a competing listing comes on the market that they love, they may opt for the available option rather than waiting. 

We typically recommend coming soon for anywhere between 3-7 days before a listing becomes active.

Private Exclusive

Unlike Coming Soon, during a Private Exclusive listing a home is not listed on the MLS, and may be shown by real estate agents. The key condition is that during this time the home may not be publicly marketed for sale, it is only available to real estate agents who the same brokerage represents. Depending on the brokerage, this may not create a wide enough reach to prospective buyers to have an impact. With brokerages that have a significant market share, such as Compass, Private Exclusive can be very effective at generating buyer interest and often successfully results in off-market sales.

A seller may choose a private exclusive listing if they prefer privacy and don’t want public knowledge of their home sale. Or if they have specific needs or limitations around showings that would be challenging to meet with an on market sale. 

The downside to a private exclusive listing or sale is that without public marketing, it can be challenging to know how many buyers are interested in a home. This could result in a lower sales price than an on market sale. 

We encourage our sellers to consider both Coming Soon and Private Exclusive pre-market options when selling their home and work with them to determine if either or both are a good fit for their needs and goals.

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