INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — As the housing market continues to move at an unprecedented pace, those behind how homes are listed are looking to level the playing field.
Beginning August 1, sellers will no longer be able to list homes as “Coming Soon,” as they could in the past up to 14 days.
Carl DeMusz serves as the CEO of MLS Now, the realty listing service throughout Northeast Ohio, which first adopted “coming soon” as a listing option about five years ago.
“There was a lot of distrust that was growing,” he said.
Homes posted through MLS Now appear on all sorts of home listing services such as Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com.
As of Monday afternoon, Zillow reported more than 700 home listings classified as "coming soon" in Ohio.
DeMusz told News 5 that member agents and brokers voted to remove the advance listings after seeing a rise in homes being sold before buyers were even allowed to look inside.
“If the property was ‘coming soon’ and let’s say Monday morning at 10 a.m. it was active in the system, [buyers] would have an appointment already set for that date and they would be told it was already sold,” he explained. “It felt like they were being shut out from being able to see the property.”
Realtors reported to News 5 a recent rise in the number of homes being sold sight unseen, with the winning buyer making an offer without ever setting foot inside.
It’s another new tactic beginning to appear in this ongoing competitive tthousing market.
“People are waiving inspections, looking to put more cash down if the appraisal does not come in,” DeMusz said. “There’s a lot of things that are not traditional and not something you would see in a real estate market.”
For years, realtors applauded “coming soon” advance listings as a perk for both buyers and sellers; a way to drum up early support before a home was ready and a chance for prospective buyers to prepare and think on a house before the need to submit a bid.
“It was something we could offer the seller,” realtor Anne Callahan said.
Callahan, a realtor with Keller Williams Citywide, told News 5 she was initially excited about the opportunity of offering “coming soon” listings when they first began available. Since then, the feature had been used in about 60% of the homes she sold.
However, going forward, she said she doesn’t worry about losing the option given where the housing market is heading.
“I would hope the inventory will grow as the market shifts,” DeMusz added. “It will go from a heavy seller's market as it is now to a balanced market to a buyer's market. That’s the cycle we typically see.”
DeMusz added there is a workaround for sellers should they need to temporarily remove a listing after it has already been posted. To learn about that and other questions surrounding the move, click here.