What are “Coming Soon” Houses on Zillow and Can I Buy It Now?

North Carolina Real Estate Broker Eric Andrews discusses the new “Coming Soon” feature buyers are seeing on Zillow and other apps. “Coming Soon” properties are a way to “pre-market” a house in an effort to build interest. In today’s market in North Carolina, it is not necessary as houses are in such high demand. Buyers can still make offers on and buy houses that are in “coming soon” status.

Speaker 1:           We’ve seen a lot of coming soon houses on Zillow lately. What is coming soon? What are the pros and cons?

Speaker 2:           So, that is a hot little trend in the industry right now. So coming soon is a form of advertising a property. And so a coming soon MOS identified listing is still downloaded by Zillow, and Zillow lets everybody know that this property is about to come on the market. So here it is September 29th, and we’re going to tell you, October 5th, this property’s going to be active and ready on the market. And the theory is, is that we’re creating some kind of urgency, excitement and pent up demand.

This is an incredibly strong real estate market. 2021 is going to go down as the strongest real estate market in the history of the area. But some people believe that if they advertise something as coming soon, they’ll be lining up at the door. When it goes live Saturday nine o’clock in the morning, there’s going to be a line of 10, 15 people out the door. I had an agent in the office earlier today and she’s doing a coming soon. And one of the things I wanted to know is, “Can you articulate what you think the actual advantage to your seller is?”

And she’s like, “Oh, well the people are going to be more prepared.” And I’m like, “What kind of buyer and what kind of agent is not prepared right now?” I just don’t see there being any advantage. There are sellers that don’t have their house ready. Well, coming soon is not for a property that’s not ready. You still have to take all the pictures and you’re advertising it. So all you’re doing is postponing when you can see the property. Then you’ll have agents that say, “Oh, my gosh, my buyers are only in town today.

Can you please show the property today?” And I just think that, excuse me, it puts the listing agent and the sellers in difficult situations where you’re going to have a lot of opportunity for not doing everything exactly right. Now, one of the most interesting thing is, can a buyer make an offer and buy something that’s coming soon? Yeah, they can. So we have some strong California hires right now.

House comes up, $400,000, coming soon. I don’t need to see it, seen enough, offer. And it might not ever hit the market. Have you really done the best job for your seller at that point? Have you given them full exposure to the market? Maybe they’re tickled pink, the offer comes in at $500,000, $50,000 due diligence money. Maybe they don’t need full exposure to the market, but I just think that I’m a free market capitalist. If we’re going to do it right, I don’t see that there’s any true advantage to the seller to do coming soon.