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Everyone is familiar with For Sale or For Rent signs, but every now and again, you might be driving down a street and see a sign sitting in front of a house with the words “Coming Soon” instead.

So, what if it happens to be a house that you would love to own?

The National Association of REALTORS® defines a “coming soon” property as one that’s listed or unlisted that is not available for showing or sale until a later date. This can be a legitimate advertising technique as it allows the owners more time to complete repairs, pack or otherwise get a property ready for showing or sale.

A “coming soon” property may be either an unlisted home that will be listed with a broker in the near future, or one subject to listing agreements where property is available to potential purchasers only through the listing broker and not available, temporarily or indefinitely, for showing or purchase through other MLS participants.

Many people are drawn to things they can’t have, so when they see a sign for a home that’s coming soon, it adds a bit of excitement to the house hunting process. Some believe that if a potential buyer does get an appointment to view the home, they would be more willing to make an offer on a house they like for fear that it could go quickly.

Additionally, they may seem less inclined to negotiate because of the special circumstances.

Plus, by having people drool over a property for weeks, without having seen it, anticipation builds. Just think of what happens when you see a trailer for a movie you really want to see months and months ahead of when it comes out and how that excitement builds as the date gets closer. It’s the same principal.

Conversely, there’s a belief that a “coming soon” sign might scare off some potential buyers because they’re not willing to wait or simply don’t understand what it all means. That could mean less people seeing the home, so less chance at an offer.

Truth is, for most “coming soon” properties, the current owners mainly just want to do some extra work to get a property ready—making renovations, decluttering, painting, etc.—and hope to build up a little interest as they get it ready. If you’re thinking about selling your house and want to consider this strategy, talk to an experienced real estate professional as there are regulations about when and how a property can be marketed in advance.

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