"Available Soon" signs

AVAILABLE SOON SIGNS 

From time-to-time, RSC receives calls or emails from brokers who complain that “Available Soon” signs are unethical or misleading.  Their arguments:

CON:

1.  Is the property listed or not?

a.  If it is listed, then why is it not in the PPMLS?  Their buyer complains that the broker did not show them this available property, when in fact it never came up in a search.

b.  If it is listed, but not in the MLS, then would they be "sign-crossing" if they approach the seller.

c.  If it is listed, it is a violation of the Rules to withhold the listing for more than 72 hours unless it is an office exclusive.

2.  This is a disservice to the Seller as the property is only exposed to drive-by buyers.

PRO:

1.  Broker goes to listing appointment and seller says they are not ready to list.  The broker convinces the seller to put a sign on the property, thus deterring another broker from approaching the seller for the listing.  In the meantime, the sign is generating calls, which can further convince the seller to go ahead and list the property with the broker.

2.  The broker gets a listing, but seller is not ready to show property; often times in an estate sale there is too much stuff in the house and they don't want anyone going through the house.  Broker secures the listing, but inserts a clause in the contract stating that the property won't be shown or submitted to the PPMLS for a period of time.

3.  “Available Soon” signs often generate more calls than the regular “For Sale” sign; reverse psychology.

NAR has two sign policies which are incorporated into the PPMLS Rules:

Section 4.1.  "For Sale or "For Lease" SIGNS - (with respect to PPMLS Participants) Only the "For Sale" signs or "For Lease" signs of the listing broker may be placed on the property during the time that the listing agreement is in force. (This does not address the situation where the property may not be listed.)

Section 4.2. "SOLD" or "LEASED" SIGNS - Prior to closing, only the "Sold" or "Leased" sign of the listing broker may be placed on the property, unless the listing broker authorizes the cooperating (selling/leasing) broker to post such a sign.

The RSC Board of Directors, with legal counsel, has concluded the following with respect to this practice:

  • Per NAR, the PPMLS cannot make a rule concerning the posting of signs.  Therefore, the PPMLS cannot prohibit a broker from posting an "Available Soon" sign.
  • PPMLS  Rules require that all Exclusive Right to Sell listings be submitted within 72 hours of seller signature.
  • If RSC receives a written (or emailed) violation complaint that a property is listed, but is not in the PPMLS, then the RSC can request a copy of the listing agreement which would confirm whether or not there is an office exclusive.  If RSC verifies that a listing is in force, and there is no “pink slip/office exclusive” then RSC will ensure that the listing is input into the PPMLS.  (Note:  currently there is no fine or sanction for not having put the listing in within the required 72 hours.)
  • If the broker has an office exclusive agreement, then the listing is not required to be input into the PPMLS computer system (although a copy of the listing agreement is required to be filed with RSC).
  • The RSC will not prohibit a listing broker from inserting additional terms in the contract such as withholding the listing from the PPMLS for a specified period of time.
  • The RSC will not prohibit the listing broker from submitting the listing to PPMLS, but then, with the Seller’s authorization, temporarily withdrawing the listing from the PPMLS.
  • If there is no listing agreement, but the seller has simply agreed to allow the broker to place a sign on the property, then the RSC has no jurisdiction in the matter, and no action will be taken.

 

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