Late in 2016 and early 2017, real estate For Sale signs began appearing in our market with the added message "Coming Soon To Realtor.ca." Consumers were and still are often confused not knowing what this statement implies so let's clear the air.
Many of us visiting a movie theatre to take in a film often sit through a parade of ads highlighting upcoming films that are coming to the theatre soon. "Coming Soon To Realtor.ca" signs have been used in markets such as Toronto and elsewhere for years and are a way in which a listing REALTOR® may choose to pre-market a property for sale before it hits the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Often this is done while the property's owner(s) complete some last minute preparations to list their home or condo for sale on the local MLS and this may include such tasks as interior or exterior painting, decorating, the staging of furniture, yard clean up, completing property photos and so on. While the overall intent of using a Coming Soon To Realtor.ca sign on a property may seem legitimate the big question is, does doing so best represent a seller in exposing the property to as many potential buyers as possible thus helping to ensure they get the best sale price and terms possible?
As REALTORS® we are governed by provincial law namely the Real estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA 2002). This act includes a variety of requirements pertaining to advertising none of which can be viewed as being false, misleading or deceptive. Let me ask this question. If as a buyer you noticed a property with a For Sale sign that further said "Coming Soon To Realtor.ca," you had a potential interest in the property only to find out that it was sold and never got listed on MLS, how would you feel? Falsely excited? Mislead? Deceived? I certainly would.
As a licensed real estate Broker, this is not a practice that I have or would use. First, installing a For Sale sign of any type on a property must include written consent from the seller(s). This consent must have an effective date as well as written direction from the seller(s) as to how and when showings of the property are to be managed as well as the date on which offers will be accepted. Too often these details are overlooked. Too often the listing REALTOR® may just be trying to find a buyer on their own. Again, is this in the best interest of the seller(s)? The answer is probably no!
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) owns and manages www.realtor.ca. The only "Coming Soon" sign allowed and or endorsed by CREA is "Coming Soon To Realtor.ca." "Coming to MLS" is not allowed neither is just "Coming Soon" as is begs the question coming soon to what? Some real estate boards and associations across Canada do not allow the use of such signs as part of the MLS rules and regulations, personally I think it's time to perhaps consider the same here in our market. Seller's deserve and are entitled to the best possible service we as REALTORS® can deliver and the same applies to buyers.
Ultimately a property is either for sale or it's not. Let's stop playing games and service our seller and buyer clients in the best way possible with knowledgeable, timely and forthright service that demonstrates the value that we as REALTORS® bring to the real estate transaction. I would love to hear your opinion on this or feel free to Contact Me with any questions you may have.