I will be the first to admit that the latest real estate craze – the “Coming Soon” sign – is a bad idea. I get it though; it’s a marketing ploy. It tells potential buyers that you are going to be listing a home soon in an effort that they call you directly to beat the rush.

There’s a name for it to; it’s called double-ending. It means the listing agent represents both the seller and the buyer in the transaction. While that sounds good in theory, and may involve some commission savings, the process is fraught with legal dangers and should be avoided unless you have some process in place to create a fair and level playing field.

Now, there are agents out there who use the technique effectively. They will tell you that when they hang out the “Coming Soon” sign, they are sending a message to potential buyers that the home is under contract, also commonly known as an exclusive listing. It means that after getting the property all painted, staged and looking it’s best, it will move to MLS.

Unfortunately, the “Coming Soon” tactic is entering the minds of sellers who think this is part of a strong marketing campaign. In fact, I have heard from agents who didn’t want to have a Coming Soon sign, but relented because the seller insisted on it.

It’s important to emphasize that the listing agent’s duty is to get the best price for the sellers and to be fair to all agents and buyers. This means waiting until the house is ready before putting it on the market.

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