What’s Coming to RMLSweb: Coming Soon-No Showing Details (Updated May 23, 2018)

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Coming Soon Real Estate Sign

RMLS™ subscribers who read our post from earlier this month no doubt have questions about the new status that will debut on RMLSweb in the coming months: Coming Soon-No Showing, or CSN. We’re ready to outline some key details, answer some questions, and talk about what this new status will mean for RMLSweb, listing forms, and subscribers.

THE BASICS

The Coming Soon-No Showing (CSN) status is for short-term use. Subscribers may use CSN to prepare a listing for Active (ACT) status. The listing may be in CSN status for no longer than 21 days and must have a valid listing agreement as well as seller approval. CSN status will indicate the listing firm and seller(s) are preparing the property for sale and marketing before the listing becomes active on RMLSweb. As such, CSN will be considered an off-market status as the listing is not actively being marketed and is not ready to be shown. Affiliate subscribers will not be able to view listings that are in CSN status, nor will CSN listings be included in statistical searches and reports.

USING CSN ON RMLSWEB

A listing agent will have the choice to publish a property as CSN. All required fields will still be required for a CSN listing and must follow all other input business rules. The required first photo will bear a watermark saying “Coming Soon-No Showings.” The Oregon and Washington listing contracts will be updated to allow seller(s) to choose between publishing the listing as ACT or CSN in RMLSweb or to exclude the property from the MLS.

Listings can stay in CSN status for up to 21 days. Listing Load will not allow a date further than 21 days in the future from being entered as the list date. If a listing agent submits a list date of fewer than 21 days in the future, the agent may extend the list date up until that 21st day—something that may come in handy if more time is needed to prep a property than was originally estimated.

The status of a CSN listing may be manually changed to ACT or WTH at any time during the 21 day period. When the list date is reached or the listing has been in the system for 21 days RMLSweb will automatically change the status of the listing to ACT at midnight. Once a listing is out of CSN status it cannot be reverted back, nor can properties that were once in CSN status be re-entered as a new CSN listing (exceptions: the property has expired or has been withdrawn for over 90 days; the property has been relisted with a new brokerage; or the property has been sold).

Open houses and broker tour offerings cannot be set up in Listing Load for a listing in CSN status. Listing View Count reports will still be available showing viewing counts from within RMLSweb, but Days on Market (DOM)/Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) will not accrue while a listing is in CSN status.

RMLSWEB SEARCH AND CSN

CSN will not be included in the default status criteria when doing a new search—ACT and BMP will remain the two default statuses. CSN listings will be excluded from exported reports and consumer prospecting auto-emails. CSN can be searched with other statuses, included in a user’s watch list. CSN listings may be used to conduct a reverse prospect search or using Hotsheet. CSN listings are included in agent-only prospect notifications. CSN listing reports can be printed and emailed from RMLSweb, including client reports. The listings will state “no showings permitted” in showing instructions on agent reports, with the actual showing instructions hidden while in CSN status.

DATA FEEDS

CSN listings will be excluded from data feeds, including but not limited to RMLS.com, Realtor.com, HomeSpotter, IDX, VOW, and broker specific feeds.

AUTHORIZATION TO EXCLUDE

Listing agents will be able to submit the completed Authorization to Exclude from MLS Addendum directly into Listing Load on RMLSweb, eliminating the need to email or mail a copy to RMLS™. If a property is excluded, it will be for the full length of the listing contract, as the short-term option on the addendum will be eliminated. The listing firm may list the property as active again once 30 days from the form’s expiration date have passed.

CHANGES TO THE RMLS™ RULES AND REGULATIONS

Changes will be made to the RMLS™ Rules and Regulations, and subscribers may view a redline version of these changes in advance of the project rollout.

UPDATE (May 17, 2018):

Update (May 23, 2018):

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45 Responses to “What’s Coming to RMLSweb: Coming Soon-No Showing Details (Updated May 23, 2018)”

  1. Rachel Richardson February 1, 2018 at 6:09 pm #

    Thank you so much.

  2. Ron Milligan February 5, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

    I didn’t see any mention of reverse prospecting a CSN status listing to other RMLS members. Would something like that be allowed or is the only allowable marketing truly just a sign and flyers in front of the home?

    Thanks for the update!

    • Christina Smestad February 9, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

      Hello Ron. The listing agent will be able to use a CSN listing to conduct a reverse prospect. However the intent was more about informing the seller(s) that they have found X number of prospects that may be looking for their home—not to market to agents with prospective matches. Marketing will be limited to RMLSweb and a sign and/or flyer at the property.

      • Ron Milligan February 9, 2018 at 2:13 pm #

        Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.

      • Brian Bellairs April 18, 2018 at 8:45 am #

        Why would marketing be limited? The primary reason for doing coming soon marketing now is to give advance notice (via marketing) that a home is coming soon so that when the house is inserted into RMLS it takes less time to get showings/offers and decreases days on market.

  3. Chris Dawkins February 5, 2018 at 5:20 pm #

    Is there a projected timeline for the roll out of the CSN status in RMLS?

    • Christina Smestad February 6, 2018 at 6:45 am #

      We are working to release CSN in early 2nd quarter.

  4. aimee virnig February 6, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up about this! Quick question…. if the goal is to have open access to all Realtors (which I appreciate) why wouldn’t you allow a broker tour for CSN listings? This can be published for all brokers. I have clients who for whatever reason might like to sell their house prior to going on the public market (divorce/kids at home/etc) and if that opportunity presented itself in a cooperating broker making an offer prior to going on the live/public RMLS it would be very appealing to them (this is one way that the Right to exclude is so helpful, in addition to letting us stage/photograph before going live). This seems like a very rigid way to market, and if the point is to get the work out that a listing is coming, but nobody can actually see it, then why do we even need to know that a listing is coming??

    • Kathryn Kreimer February 7, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

      Following! 😉
      Well said, Aimee, have been thinking the same! Feels like the sellers are being restricted by using a licensed realtor… How can CSN be used to really help our clients? Thank you!

    • Christina Smestad February 9, 2018 at 1:51 pm #

      Hi Aimee. The RMLS™ Board of Directors decided that no showings (including broker tours) would be permitted while a listing is in CSN status. This is how the status got the name Coming Soon-No Showing. The board’s reasoning: if a property can be shown to anyone, then it should be active in the MLS and exposed to everyone in the marketplace. The benefit of the CSN status is that it allows a listing agent to give notice to RMLS™ subscribers that a property will be available soon, and when they can expect it to be available for showings. Buyers’ agents currently struggle to find and learn about listings that are excluded from the MLS and marketed as “coming soon” in other systems, including on social media. This requires the buyers’ agent to spend more time scouring other systems to find those properties.

      • aimee virnig February 9, 2018 at 2:08 pm #

        I appreciate that, but it still doesn’t resolve the issue of sellers who would prefer a pre-market sale. Allowing showings by ALL brokers prior to being ‘public’ seems like a great way to make sure excluded properties have access to everyone

        • Dave Denney February 13, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

          I can remember the first time I saw a coming soon sticker on a yard sign. I immediately thought to myself “Now that is a clever way to circumvent RMLS rules!”. Essentially, getting a yard sign up with your phone number on it, yet not having to put an exclusion form in front of the seller. Because, ostensibly, we are just “getting ready” for market. A sale is a sale is a sale, what the heck is a pre-market sale? Allowing showings by all brokers prior to it being public, is in fact definitively public. If a sale takes place it is because a listing was exposed to, at least, some segment of the market. Unless maybe the parties are friends family or neighbors? Are not known parties at the heart of a private sale? I’m a little confused, a property that is in CSN status is not to be shown by anyone, including the listing broker? How can that be policed? Not too many years ago, no one would have cared if a listing was “coming soon”. But in a market that continues to have very tight inventories, it’s a big deal. Placing a “coming soon” sticker on a sign definitely gives the listing broker or brokerage an advantage in creating a disclosed limited agency transaction. Or as we use to say, a “double ended” deal. I see the creation of this status, and the rules around it, as a way to close this clever loop hole in the rules. As long as “no showings” applies to the listing broker as well. If that is the case than I don’t expect to see it used much. I think this rule placates the many buyer’s broker’s frustration with lack of access to new listings. Perhaps, rightfully so. But, I still practice what my first Broker taught me, “List on Purpose…sell by accident”.

      • aimee virnig March 21, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

        Christina
        What if we receive an offer subject to interior inspection during the CSN phase?

        • Christina Smestad March 22, 2018 at 10:30 am #

          Hello Aimee, Per RMLS™ Rule 8.2 Timely Presentation of Offers, any offer would need to be presented as soon as possible. If the offer is accepted, according to Rule 3.16 the listing status would need to be changed to ACT (Active) and then to PEN (Pending).

          • aimee virnig March 22, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

            Thank you Christina! I think this is exactly why we need to provide for some type of showings to ALL brokers during the CSN status, provided the seller wants that. We are collaborators and rely on our fellow Realtors’ expertise in preparing our listings for market. We can publish a ‘preview’ time for all brokers on the RMLS in the CSN status to get realtor feedback/etc. Otherwise you will be seeing brokers sending clients by these CSN listings, writing offers subject to interior inspection to tie up the property and we will have an even worse situation than we currently have. Not sure why we can’t provide for Realtor collaboration during the CSN period provided ANY access is published and available for ALL realtors in the system??

  5. Kevin J Gorman February 7, 2018 at 4:37 pm #

    Yes. I am also having a hard time understanding how this status benefits sellers and Brokers.

  6. Alaina Giguiere March 8, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

    I think this is ripe for abuse. Really how will stop or make sure agents don’t get a ‘sneak’ preview before it actually live to all brokers. I think this is a bad idea, however I was not on the voting committee.
    I know that many agents will follow the rules, but there are also many that will not. What happens if your client looses out on a house that no one was supposed to see only to find out that someone got a ‘sneak’ peek.. seems like a big can of worms to me. List a house, put in the MLS, expose it to all of us at the same time and then sell it..

    • Chris Dawkins March 8, 2018 at 3:36 pm #

      The problem there is that many agents are already using the coming soon feature on Zillow. Better that the RMLS get out ahead of that IMO or that they allow a feature to report agents who are pre-marketing ahead and RMLS. I do think there are plenty of potential pitfalls.

  7. Greg Gospe March 21, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    I think this all changes when the market, at some point returns to a more normal phase. I think that anyone who has been a broker during this business cycle is being honest with themselves if they really think that they have had to do much marketing (compared to just a few years ago) to get their listings sold quickly. The internet and instant gratification have prompted much of this.

    It’s a great time to be in the business but we all know that properly priced, well prepped homes sell in less than a week and CSN status is a nice heads up to people that something is coming and unfortunately, it’s a matter of timing for being able to negotiate a contract for your clients on a new listing. A day or even a few hours can make a huge difference in terms of being able to secure a property for a qualified buyer. Beyond that, we simply need to hope that the more ethical among us follow the rules. A tall order for sure.

  8. Greg Gospe March 21, 2018 at 11:24 am #

    the comment needs to say “I don’t think that anyone who has been a broker….

    Sorry for the omitted word

  9. Jordan Matin March 26, 2018 at 8:21 am #

    I feel like I would want a class on this. I got a feeling I am not reading this right and want to be sure I understand this fully.

    • Heather Andrews March 26, 2018 at 11:10 am #

      Our trainers have a presentation we can bring right to your office! I’ll pass your information to our trainers, but anyone else can email training@rmls.com to get in touch.

  10. aimee virnig March 26, 2018 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m sorry I have commented so much, but this new status and the change in the right to exclude changes a lot for my sellers (and me) — especially those who like to have Realtor opinions prior to being ready for public market (and that can be any/all realtors in RMLS) — we are collaborators and rely on each other for help in pricing/prepping. I would never hold a listing back from any realtor, but I rely strongly on pre-market help from my professional associates (from ALL companies) and this CSN effectively takes that away from us.

  11. Susan Cusack March 28, 2018 at 8:23 am #

    After over 40 years in this industry, I have strong feelings about this “coming soon-no showing” status. It appears that the RMLS Board, in deciding to create this CSNS status, did so to remedy the negative situation of RMLS members being “cheated out” of brokers who use other media sites (Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, etc.) where they place “coming soon” advertising on properties not yet ready to list in RMLS for other members to SEE. Thus, the CSNS status circumvents that issue. There is no way to control brokers from doing pre-marketing on social media websites. CSNS is an attempt to level the playing field. I get that.

    In the past 3 years, I have had many listings that had a great deal of preparation to be completed before the seller wanted their home put active on the market. I have never placed an ad or a sign in their front yard with “Coming Soon” slider on the sign. I did not do so for several reasons: 1) Creates phone calls from Realtors or potential buyers where I have to tell them, “No, sorry I can’t show it to you” and the resulting negative feelings of those people when I say that. Ethically, the CSNS Realtor would have to maintain a list of all callers and make sure he/she called all of them the very first moment it could be shown. Why create this ethical issue and hassle? 2) I do not want to create any negative situations for other Realtors who have to deal with the frustration and fall out from buyer clients who are already stressed out to the max in this horrendous Seller’s Market and no inventory. It’s like a shark feeding frenzy experience for ALL buyers right now. CSNS, in my opinion, adds to their anxiety and frustration as well as to the buyer Brokers–we don’t need this added stress. 3) Sellers don’t need to do this–if the home isn’t ready to show, then it isn’t ready for marketing–pretty simple in my opinion.

    Ethics dictate to me to create a level playing field for all Realtors. CSNS is an attempt to do so because, unfortunately, the shark feeding frenzy has motivated unethical behavior and skewed the industry’s broader perspective on best practices.

    Just my opinion.

  12. Steven April 2, 2018 at 10:39 am #

    We are in early Q2 now. Do we have an updated ETA for this roll out?

    • Christina Smestad April 2, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

      Hello Steven, We anticipate rolling this out the first week of May, either the morning of May 1st or May 2nd.

      • Steven April 9, 2018 at 9:04 am #

        Thank you Christina!
        I attended the Coming Soon seminar in town and I was curious if the power point they presented was available somewhere for us to download or view? Will RMLS be making available a document for agents prior to roll out?

        Thanks again

        • Christina Smestad April 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm #

          Hello Steven, I took your suggestion to our Training Department and they provided the presentation slides and handout available via PDF. Links to the PDF’s are now available on the desktop page of RMLSweb in the breaking news article. This article also contains links to other information regarding the CSN, Showing Time and Forms Change projects slated to be released in early May.

          • Steven April 12, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

            Christina, I cannot thank you enough for doing this. Lot’s of clarity and solid presentation. Thank you so much!

  13. Melodie April 11, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    I am confused on the office exclusive form now. So if we list it in RMLS as CSN we have to have the form signed so we can upload it to RMLS however if we do have our client sign it we can’t list the property for 30 days after the contract expiration? Am I missing something or we don’t have to have the form signed if we list it in RMLS as CSN?

    Thanks

    • Melodie April 11, 2018 at 11:51 am #

      Also I don’t see in this document that is says we can’t post the coming soon listing on other sites or in facebook groups. I thought I had read that in a past issue but don’t see it on this one. Is RMLS the only place we can post a coming soon listing?

      • Christina Smestad April 19, 2018 at 2:33 pm #

        Hello, Coming Soon-No Showing listings can only be posted to RMLSweb. When the new status is released on May 2nd, the RMLS™ Rules and Regulations will be updated to include a new section 3.28, that states “Coming Soon‐No Showing status listings are displayed only in the MLS system. Coming Soon‐No Showing status listings are not displayed on print advertisement or the Internet, are not included in the MLS advertising data feeds, and cannot be displayed anywhere on the Internet or displayed on broker, agent, public or syndication websites, mobile apps or through public or private social media postings. Listing Broker may place a “Coming Soon” sign and flyer at the property. If a sign or flyer is installed at the property, the sign or flyer must include the words “Coming Soon”. The RMLSweb desktop article has a link to the redline changes that will be effective on May 2nd.

    • Christina Smestad April 19, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

      Hello Melodie, The Authorization to Exclude from MLS form is changing. The short term option is being removed. The form would only be used if the seller elects to exclude their property from the MLS for the entire length of the listing contract. After the listing contract has expired, the listing firm cannot list the property in the MLS for 30 days after the contract expires. The listing contract is also changing. Sellers will choose one of three options that determine if and how the property would be submitted to the MLS. The options are to a) publish the listing in active status in the MLS, b) publish the listing in Coming Soon-No Showing status in the MLS for up to 21 days, or c) to exclude the property from the MLS for the entire length of the listing contract. So if the property is listed as a CSN in the MLS, then the Authorization to Exclude from MLS form would not be used.

  14. Temara Presley April 12, 2018 at 2:07 pm #

    I think this change is a detriment to sellers and buyers. We all have sellers who contact us less than 30 days before they list, and certainly their homes are not ready to photograph for a coming soon listing 30 days in advance – that timeframe is clearly intended to dissuade. This is an over reach to dictate how, when or whether Realtors can communicate about their signed listings, how we negotiate for our sellers, how & when to market or allow showings to buyers after we have a signed listing. The requirement for a seller sign the current Authorization to Exclude (ATE) form is sufficient – it clearly outlines to the seller the obvious benefits of listing in RMLS. I have only sold one listing outside of RMLS this year. We understand the benefits of the RMLS listing – and the ATE is adequate protection to make sure that sellers do, too.

    My biggest issue with this is that listing in RMLS is a benefit to a consumer who uses ANY licensed Realtor, it is not a point of difference. Whether the consumer is paying $500 for data entry, or paying whatever percentage of the sales price. We are free to negotiate our compensation and service levels. Just like there is no regulation on a minimum service level, and there should be no maximum, either.

    Not all sellers want pre-marketing or Coming Soon. But for some sellers time is of the essence for getting their home sold. If marketing their home for a week or two before they are active in RMLS shortens their market time by having buyers ready to see their home, then that should not be restricted. Maybe a relo client is in town the weekend before our listing goes live – we need to be able to show it, and we need to be able to communicate about these listings to our colleagues.

    “Leveling the playing field” is not what going to win any praise from consumers. There are all service levels in our industry – in an already challenging climate for commissioned sales people we should be allowed to freely market to the standards expected of us, and that we create for ourselves.

    • Aimee virnig April 13, 2018 at 8:18 am #

      Thanks for this Temara! I agree. Very disturbed about RMLS over reaching in to my business. I work hard to run an ethical business and feel like they are making policy based on a minority of Realtors who dont

  15. Tom inglesby April 12, 2018 at 11:53 pm #

    I think you will see more buyers making offers on coming soon just to get into a house asap. As everyone waits we will see a pending in rmls and a mad buyer. Not a way to solve this problem.

  16. Michelle Johnson April 16, 2018 at 7:23 am #

    How does this rule effect new construction? Many times the builder has the agent market homes on lots within a subdivision via a plat map as “coming soon” prior to placing on RMLS, or many times not placing on RMLS at all until sold. New construction builds take much longer than 21 days to build so I am curious how this new rule effects a builder’s agent since they have a listing agreement for all lots with future builds within the community.

    Please advise.

  17. John Ludow April 30, 2018 at 8:54 am #

    Several weeks ago I attended an education session sponsored by the WVMLS. Several speakers were there from RMLS to talk about the new “CSN” status. In the handout they gave it said, “ CSN is considered an off-market status and is not actively being marketed and is not ready to be shown.” (bold words added). “Marketed” is a key word here. I did a little research and came up with some interesting interpretations, please see below.

    It seems that no one disputes that advertising is marketing. It also seems to be an unfair advantage that the listing agent would be able to place a sign and full flyer box in front of their listing without calling it “marketing” and the property as “marketed”. Advertising is marketing.

    Even though cooperating agents cannot show this “marketed” property the listing agent gets to advertise it (sign and flyers). It matters not if a prospective cooperating agent can see the information at RMLS in a “CSN” format. What matters is that while the listing agent is fielding calls based on his/her sign, and flyer box, other agents cannot access the subject property for showing purposes. Is that fair?

    It is a frustrating market for buyers. If they drive by a house they like that has a sign and a flyer box, they will want to see the inside. As discussed by brokers at the aforementioned education session, some brokers have lost their clients because they called the listing agent instead of waiting for full information and showing availability.

    Marketing and Advertising

    NAR Code of Ethics
    • Standard of Practice 3-10
    The duty to cooperate established in Article 3 relates to the obligation to share information on listed property, and to make property available to other brokers for showing to prospective purchasers/tenants when it is in the best interests of sellers/landlords. (Adopted 1/11)
    From Aspirational Objectives in the Preamble to the Code of Ethics, at NAR
    “Perhaps unfair advantage can be best avoided by caring, consideration, and communication. REALTORS® who care for the interests of every individual involved in a real estate transaction are not apt to take any unfair advantage. REALTORS® who consider all points of view are not likely to take unfair advantage. Good relationships and good results in real estate matters are commensurate with good communication between principals, agents, and cooperating brokers.
    The phrase “unfair advantage” is not intended to discourage aggressive competition. Rather, it is intended to discourage, among other things, misrepresentation of law or fact; misleading clients and customers with respect to the competence, honesty, or loyalty of other REALTORS®; resorting to technicalities to justify questionable actions; and attempts to induce a breach of contract. It is not inappropriate to list or sell aggressively, or to work harder and longer than others. Ultimately, unfairness works to the disadvantage of clients and customers since it limits their power of choice; exposes them to possible litigation; and deprives them of the full benefits of an open and cooperative relationship.”

    OAR 863-015-0125
    (1) As used in this rule, “advertising” and “advertisement” include all forms of representation, promotion and solicitation disseminated in any manner and by any means for any purpose related to professional real estate activity, including, without limitation, advertising by mail; telephone, cellular telephone, and telephonic advertising; the Internet, E-mail, electronic bulletin board and other similar electronic systems; and business cards, signs, lawn signs, and billboards.

    Advertising is a part of “marketing”
    “Advertising is a single component of the marketing process. It’s the part that involves getting the word out concerning your business, product, or the services you are offering. It involves the process of developing strategies such as ad placement, frequency, etc.”
    https://www.thebalance.com/marketing-vs-advertising-what-s-the-difference-2294825

    All Advertising Is Marketing, But Not All Marketing Is Advertising
    “All advertising is marketing, but not all marketing is advertising. If you and your organization see it as the same, then now is the time to rethink your marketing efforts.”
    http://www.bandt.com.au/marketing/advertising-marketing-not-marketing-advertising

    Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2003-10-08/advertising-vs-dot-marketing

    “An advertising campaign is one of the important components of a company’s marketing plan, but certainly not the only one. “The advertising campaign is the media that you use during a certain time frame to promote a product, service, or an event,”

    American Marketing Association
    Marketing:
    Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
    (Approved July 2013)

    Businessdirectory.com
    The management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 P’s of marketing:
    (1) identification, selection and development of a product,
    (2) determination of its price,
    (3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and
    (4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.
    For example, new Apple products are developed to include improved applications and systems, are set at different prices depending on how much capability the customer desires, and are sold in places where other Apple products are sold.
    Washington State Department of Advertising
    Examples of advertising include but are not limited
    to:
    • ALL printed material (circulars, pamphlets,
    newspapers, magazines, brochures, hand-outs,
    flyers, etc.)
    • Websites, including websites controlled by the
    licensee as well as websites that licensee does not
    control, but on which licensee’s advertising is
    found
    • Social media accounts and profiles used to
    advertise the licensee’s business or market real
    property
    • All promotional events, including open houses
    • Billboards, television and radio commercials
    • Signs (yard signs, sandwich board signs,
    directional signs, etc.)
    • Business cards, letterhead, fax cover sheets,
    e-mails, text messages, and other promotional materials

    From the Ohio Association of Realtors
    http://ohiorealtors.org/2012/05/14/coming-soon-signage-an-appropriate-marketing-tool-or-risky-practice/

    ‘Coming Soon’ signage… An appropriate marketing tool or risky practice?
    On May 14, 2012
    A special tip of the hat to the Columbus Board of REALTORS for allowing the OAR Daily Buzz to publish the following column. This was originally written for REALTORS in Central Ohio, so it references rules specific relating to the Columbus MLS. You should check with your local MLS for applicability.
    By Stan Collins, CEO, Columbus Board of REALTORS
    “My seller is almost ready to put their house on the market – but wants me to put up the For Sale sign with a Coming Soon rider.The house won’t be ready for showing for another week, but the seller wants to stir up some anticipation. Is this acceptable?”
    Recently, many of us have seen some of these signs pop up in our neighborhoods. In fact, I and our MLS staff receive calls from members who see this sign in the yard of a property that their buyer would like to see, they cannot find the property in MLS, and after calling the listing company are told that the property is not yet available to show.
    To be sure, the Coming Soon sign can be an appropriate marketing tool for a property that will soon be available for sale. Unfortunately, the Coming Soon sign, alternatively, can be what really amounts to an unethical practice. This discussion seeks to illustrate why the use of a Coming Soon sign is not just automatically unethical, as some agents believe, but that it is a risky practice.
    The rules
    (Columbus) MLS Rules require that all eligible listings be entered into the system within 72 hours of signing the listing agreement, unless the seller has given the agent specific written instructions to the contrary. MLS rules recognize that a seller does have the right to instruct the listing firm to withhold the listing from MLS, pursuant to what is referred to in the MLS rules as an “office listing”. MLS rules still require that an office listing be in writing, and be registered with the MLS. Doing so will provide some protection to the listing agent/broker from a rules violation charge. The office listing form, which is available from MLS, documents in writing that the listing agent has explained the benefits of the MLS, and that the seller has directed the property not be entered into the MLS database.
    Additionally, the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS, Article 3, Standard of Practice 3-10, obligates REALTORS to share information on listed property, and to make listed property available to other brokers for showing to prospective purchasers/tenants when it is in the best interests of sellers/landlords. Ohio License Law reiterates these same duties to act in the best interests of the client.
    Why would any seller want to keep a listing out of MLS? Sometimes there are valuables such as art collections, etc., and the seller wants only their listing agent conducting showings. There may be a better work-around than keeping the listing out of MLS; but legally, the MLS can’t force a seller to have their property shown in MLS, the seller’s wishes must be generally respected.

    Examine motives and rational
    It is recommended that agents exercise extreme care when recommending that clients withhold their listings from MLS. If an agent were to recommend that their seller issue this instruction, it is advisable that the agent closely examine the motives and rational for that recommendation.
    • Is it the seller’s intent to keep the property off the market while repairs are made or some other work is done to the property? If so, then the recommendation may indeed be appropriate.
    • Is the recommendation made to afford the listing agent an exclusive window of opportunity to sell it themselves, omitting others from showing it? If so, your policy on cooperation with other REALTORS must be disclosed to your client to comply with Ohio license law.
    • Is it the seller’s or the brokerage’s intent to preclude some buyers from seeing the property? If so, the practice may be illegal under Fair Housing law.
    Consider all the risks
    Our industry has grown to realize that in any situation where only certain potential buyers are shown the property while others are not can be a real problem. If no one can see the property yet because the property is not on the market yet, then the Coming Soon sign seems acceptable. However if only some and not others are permitted to see the property while it is being advertised as Coming Soon, this raises some red flags.
    So before posting that Coming Soon sign, ask the important questions above. Decide whether the property really is “coming soon” (as in not yet for sale), or is it really a listing that can bring into question the ethics and fair housing practices of all involved, placing the agent, broker and potentially the seller at risk. And always, always, always get written and signed instructions from your seller.

    In conclusion it is obvious that advertising is marketing. The new “CSN” allows advertising that you claim is not marketing. This is an affront to cooperating Brokers and takes an unfair advantage over fellow Realtors.

  18. Heather Adams April 30, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

    My business is primarily new construction and currently I have a 30 lot subdivision that is being built as construction loans, permits, and weather allows starts to happen. Typically I try to list them closer to finish, but always have a flyer in the model house for other Brokers and Buyers which explains the timing for lots/houses that will be completed once they’re started. There’s also a subdivision plat which shows what house plans will go on what lots. It’s very confusing for Brokers to show new construction unless there’s a clear layout of what is going where and when it’s expected to be built/completed. We are a small builder however I know all the larger nation wide builders do this as well. How do you expect us to comply with the new CSN ruling which is very limiting especially when you have an entire neighborhood under construction?
    It would seem you need to spend more time hearing all of us out prior to making a decision that would cause such restrictive practices.

  19. Stephen FitzMaurice May 1, 2018 at 10:15 am #

    I understand the potential benefit for Brokers in Oregon. I think it could be good, but not the way it is set up now.

    This makes no sense to me, “The listing firm may list the property as active again once 30 days from the form’s expiration date have passed.” So we can perform coming soon marketing everywhere, but then our poor sellers have to sit on their hands and wait for the RMLS punishment time period of 30 days to expire? A lot of us have cancel anytime or cancel within 30 day policies in our contracts. So a seller can ask us to perform coming soon marketing, then when the 30 day prohibition hits, they can cancel with us and quickly list with a different firm and go active on RMLS immediately? (This needs more consideration.) Why is it a 30 day window? Seems to be an arbitrary number. Honestly, I’d rather all agents are prohibited from all coming soon marketing except for CSN, than this awkward mix of rules. Take out the 30 day prohibition and I’m fine with it. Then an agent can either choose the CSN or choose coming soon everywhere marketing. Or eliminate coming soon marketing altogether and make us all use the CSN or nothing. I’d be fine with that. Instead, you have a convoluted system that will not make sense to our sellers and does not benefit them. These rules drastically impact my business as a seller’s agent only, as it stands it does not help me or other seller’s agents. If I choose CSN only, my sellers will want to know why I’m not on Zillow coming soon. If I choose Zillow coming soon (and other sources), my sellers will not understand the 30 day prohibition that follows. You are making our jobs difficult because our clients will not fathom these new rules.

  20. Sydney May 2, 2018 at 9:18 am #

    Sorry if this has already been asked – I scrolled through some but couldn’t find any posts quite like my question… what about listings we’ve been doing off-market advertising for well before the implementation of the coming soon no show?

    • Christina Smestad May 2, 2018 at 9:45 am #

      Hello Sydney, Any listings that have an Authorization to Exclude from MLS addendum dated prior to 5/2 would be honored at the prior marketing rules.

      • Sydney May 2, 2018 at 10:33 am #

        Very good. Just wanted to make sure 🙂 Thank you!

  21. Tammy Fish May 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm #

    Although well intended, Coming Soon seems to limit us as agents more than help us. I just listed a home yesterday, but this new features will not allow me to post an Open House for the weekend even though the listing will be “Active” by then. Honestly, it seems like there are more restrictions than advantages. We can’t market it except for a sign which I could always do, can’t post open houses, the listing won’t feed to Zillow or prospects, what is the point of the status? And the status shows as “Pending with Lease Option” now on my Showing Time….?
    Help!

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