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“Coming Soon” Listings Pose Legal Concerns

Agents who aren’t cautious about coming-soon listings can run afoul of state laws, MLS policies, or the Realtor code of ethics.

(Boonton, NJ, July 31, 2014) — Listing site Zillow recently launched “coming soon” inventory, a feature that lets home shoppers search for homes not on the market but expected to be listed for sale within 30 days.

The National Association of Realtors immediately jumped on the practice as problematic. If a coming-soon listing turns into something akin to a pocket listing, it’s possible the home might not be fully marketed to the broadest swath of buyers.

Agents who use such listing tactics would be wise to fully disclose the potential downsides, NAR says.

Agents who aren’t cautious about coming-soon listings can run afoul of state laws, MLS policies, or the Realtor code of ethics, says NAR. What’s more, an unsatisfied seller could allege in a lawsuit that a broker breached his duties if the broker didn’t seek the highest possible price, or if the seller didn’t understand that a marketing strategy might not bring the highest price.

Additional cautions and industry comments on “coming soon” listings appear in the August issue of Real Estate Broker's Insider.

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