"Coming soon" and "Exclusive" listings: who really benefits?

Published 10 April 16 08:31 AM | Gord McCormick 

You may be noticing more and more listings coming out with either a “Coming Soon” flag or sign on them or the qualifier that they are “exclusive listings,  ie “…so don’t miss out and call me right away!”  Do these types of listings really benefit the seller, the buyers, the market place or the listing agent?

“Coming Soon”:

A pre-MLS® listing announcement flagged when a seller and listing agent wish to pre-announce that the property will be for sale soon and if buyers are shopping the area they may wish to hold off on a purchasing decision until they get a chance to consider their pending listing.  Often, sellers are busily getting ready to list and hope to be listing in a short period of time.  Unfortunately, there are no rules around this type of listing and we have seen “Coming Soon” signs on listings that don’t go to MLS® for 3 or 4 weeks which certainly does not qualify as “coming soon” in our definition.


Exclusive listing: valid approach or simply “call me first-don’t lose out FUD”?

There are some valid reasons for using an exclusive listing but most often we believe it is used in an attempt to generate some FUD (fear-uncertainty and doubt) in buyer prospects where they do not want to miss out on a “hot new listing”.  Many agents will give the impression that they have a whole lot of these hot new listings and you should be signing up with them or your run the risk on “missing out.”  Advertising or promoting these “pocket listings” or “exclusive listings” is primarily for the benefit of the listing agent and or helps them secure the listing in the first place.  See our previous blogpost here on the subject: http://www.oasisrealtyottawa.com/Exclusive_Listings_vs_MLS_Listings/page_2506349.html


Availability and Access is a big criterion:

If a Realtor is using the approaches above, they may simply be controlling access to the listing and trying to generate buyer prospects themselves.  Is this really for the benefit of the seller or the listing agent? (principal duty to client obligations would suggest not but pretty much anything an agent can convince their client of, is OK, legally…)

A listing agent who denies the public and other Realtors access to a listing while they try to sell it themselves to their own customers, is definitely not working in their seller’s best interest, in our opinion.  No matter how active the neighbourhood Realtor may be, they have a tiny, tiny portion of the buyers who are represented by the other 3,100 Realtors in our Board and this is one of the many strengths of the MLS® system. 



A few years ago we had a situation like this where a “For Sale” sign was posted but when we called to book an appointment for a buyer client we were told that showings did not start for several days.  Independently, our buyer called to inquire about the property and was booked to see the listing the same day we had requested!  When we called the brokerage manager for the listing sales person, he closed ranks and said his agent had done “nothing wrong”, knowing full well his listing agent had broken both the MLS® rules and ethics rules by dealing with a client of another Realtor and also by allowing preferential treatment to his own buyers over those of other MLS® buyer representatives by controlling access to an MLS® listing.  


While there are valid reasons for using both of this listing tactics, there are just as many using them to generate more Realtor business and try to create scarcity and fear of losing out which most Realtors on MLS® do not do.  The widest exposure and access always yields the most buyers and the best demand and is therefore best for the seller.  This is one of the cornerstones of MLS® after all.

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Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage

613-435-4692 oasisrealty@rogers.com










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