There is a lot of confusion regarding the new FMLS “Marketing Commencement Date” and the “Coming Soon” status. They are 2 separate policies, though they can be used together.
Marketing Commencement Date
The newest iteration of the Exclusive Seller Brokerage Engagement (GAR F101), added on April 15, 2021, separates the Listing Period from Marketing to avoid the confusion that has existed. The Start Date and the End Date of the Listing Period are clearly separated from Marketing. Section 3 is the Marketing portion and includes the Marketing Commencement Date and a time period for adjustment of that date by the Seller. If Marketing Commencement is the same date as the Start Date of the Listing, insert the start date. If it is later, insert the later date. The ability of the Seller to adjust the date allows for changes to Seller or property readiness. It can be completed with a zero or any number of days.
Prior to the Marketing Commencement Date, during the delay period, it is “off market” and is not seen by anyone. (Versus the Coming Soon period.) The Marketing Commencement Date can be as far away from the Starting Date or Listing Commencement Date as the Ending date. It is limited only by the expiration date of the listing. In theory, the property can sold, but never be marketed If the listing was Exclusive, however, and even it never goes into FMLS, a fee is still due to FMLS.
Practice tip: It is recommended that the Listing Period be measured from the date of the commencement of marketing., rather than the start date of the listing. If it takes a month or more to get the property ready for sale, valuable time is lost by measuring from the List Date. You want your listing period to be the maximum time for marketing and not wasted on a preparation period.
"Coming Soon" is also an "off-market” status, but is very different from a delayed Marketing Commencement. "Coming Soon" properties CAN be seen by FMLS members who are logged into Matrix, but are not distributed to agents, public or syndication websites, including GeorgiaOpenHouses.com, ShowingTime, or the Matrix Consumer Portal.
Properties listed as "Coming Soon" are limited to a period of 21 days prior to going active. At midnight of the Go Active date, when the 21-day period ends, Matrix automatically changes the listing status to Active. You can, of course, change the status to Active prior to that date. You must include a Go Active date when entering the listing under the "Coming Soon" listing status.
No Marketing to the Public under “Coming Soon”
A property under “Coming Soon” cannot be marketed to the public in any manner. Marketing of the property to the public includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks and applications available to the general public.
There is a marketing exception for the “Coming Soon” status. Internal marketing that only goes to other licensees within the Seller’s Broker’s firm is not considered public marketing unless it is distributed to licensees outside of the brokerage firm.
A listing that was under the "Coming Soon" status cannot be extended beyond 21 days or re-listed as “Coming Soon” unless it has been off-market for 90+ days.