I recently took a listing in Germantown, and the seller requested that I create a “coming soon” listing and share it with other agents, even though it won’t be on the open market for a few months. She prefers to sell it quietly.

Many Buyers today, don’t realize it’s an option to purchase a home before it hits the market, but in fact, a wide range of properties are selling in the “coming soon stage” through agents who share them with their networks. It’s a great opportunity for buyers because there’s little-to-no competition to contend with at this stage, and Easton Mosteller Realty Group are here to help you get the inside scoop on these opportunities.

The benefits to the Seller being able to sell in the coming soon stage are many. From testing the market to gauge interest, or,  getting some exposure without wasting days on the MLS (the longer a house is on the market, the more it loses pricing leverage) and, to avoid advertising to their neighbors that they’re selling.

Here are the venues I recommend checking for information on properties that are coming soon:

  • Social media – Agents (whom you can find and “follow”) and sellers (your personal network) may announce homes coming on the market on their pages.
  • Zillow – Search by neighborhood and find homes expected to be on the market within 30-60 days; then call listing agents for showings.
  • “Coming soon” pages on real estate agents’ websites – Agents in your area will promote their listings to other agents and their buyers, even before they come on the market.
  • Word of mouth – Agents like to generate excitement and interest in their listings and will often talk with their networks about properties in their pipelines.

Don’t forget that it’s the seller who pays the commission for selling their property, and their agent is representing them. As a buyer, you won’t owe your agent money for helping find the right home for you.

According to NAR (National Association of Realtors), all agents must treat you fairly, honestly, and ethically, even if they’re not representing you. But be wary about sharing too much personal information with a real estate agent who’s not representing you, as he/she is not obligated to keep your information confidential and may share it with the seller.

Whether you go it alone or use a broker, finding a home before it comes to the open market is a little bit more work, but can produce a great reward. Without other buyers bidding against you in a heated market, you may just save yourself some money.