As it turns out, Zillow’s “Coming Soon” listings may not be such a threat to the real estate status quo, despite an outcry from agents and Multiple Listing Services around the country.
Tim Ellis, operator of the Seattle Bubble blog, searched Zillow for coming soon listings, and found that they haven’t really taken off. The service, which allows Zillow Premier Agents to post information on Zillow about a property that will be on the market soon, faced heavy criticism from real estate agents who claim Coming Soon postings act as “pocket listings” that avoid traditional Mulitple Listing Services.
But according to Ellis’ research, prospective homebuyers may have a hard time finding a Coming Soon listing at all. When he surveyed postings on Zillow, 13 states had no Coming Soon listings, and 19 more had fewer than five listings. All told, there were only 458 Coming Soon postings to Zillow in the entire country.
That’s nothing compared to the more than 58,000 listings on Zillow’s Make Me Move service, which allows homeowners to post the price that they would be interested in getting in order to leave their home.
Of course, some of that has to do with the potential user base for such a feature. It’s only open to real estate agents who pay Zillow for its Premier service, which already limits the number of potential listings. On top of that, many Multiple Listing Services, including the Northwest MLS that serves Zillow’s home town of Seattle, prohibit advertising a property without submitting a listing to the MLS.
It’s also a new service that real estate agents will have to adjust to and decide if they want to use. It’s possible that some agents are still evaluating if they want to give those listings a shot before jumping in with both feet.
Ellis, whose day job is data scientist at Porch, also made a Tableau heat map showing how Coming Soon listings compare to Zillow’s Make Me Move and For Sale by Owner listings. Check it out on his site.