Monday, January 5, 2015

Your Listing Expired ... Now What?

(Author’s note: If your home is currently listed with a real estate broker, please know this advice is not intended to solicit business nor should it be considered in conjunction with any material provided by your current agent representative.  We cooperate fully with the broker community and only speak to sellers at the end of their listing agreement)

So, in spite of all your hopes and the best intentions of your real estate agent no one has decided to purchase your house during the listing period you agreed to when you placed it on the market. Your listing is now known as “expired” the real estate world.  Don’t fret, many listings expire throughout the real estate year.  

You should know right up front that the expiration of your listing is announced by the Multiple Listing Service that covers your area.  According to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics other REALTORS®  may not discuss your listing with you while you are represented by someone else (note our disclaimer above placed for just that reason). Once your listing has expired, and the MLS has announced that your listing has expired...all bets are off.  Be prepared for a foray of phone calls, visits and mailings from other agents looking to win your business.  Be patient, listen to all of their points of view and offers and then go with the one that works best for you.  

While you’re listening to those offers, listing expiration is also a great time to do some soul-searching of your own.  Ask yourself a few key questions that may make your process work better the second time around.

Do I have enough motivation?

During many listing periods sellers tend to be very motivated at the outset.  They accommodate showing requests from anyone at any time, they allow open houses even if it means changing personal schedules and they get the cereal bowls into the dishwasher before the first appointment comes along.  As time drags on, however, that motivation wanes ... and sometimes that lack of motivation sends a signal to prospective buyers, to other agents and in some cases to the agent representing you. Make sure the positive attitude you brought to day one of your first contract is still resonating now.   Also make sure you bring motivated ears to any discussion; don’t say no outright to any idea just because it sounds difficult or may not be what you had dreamed would happen.

Is the marketing mix right?

Most real estate agents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have a ton of marketing tools available to them - but sometimes even the most well-armed professional misses on the strategy.  Think back on what worked, and what did not - and evaluate whether any of that had to do with your initial requests or suggestions.  If you think video is the answer, then push for video.  Just recognize that the best videos are ones where sellers participate ... so be willing to play along.

Was the price too ambitious?  

Your Realtor would have a marketing plan to help sell your home. Have you examined thoroughly to check whether it covers all the major areas of marketing? Would your home get sufficient listing with the current plan? Do a competitive market analysis to check the market rates of similar other properties in the market, and find out how long they have been in the market. If the Realtor makes use of the latest marketing techniques then he shouldn't have much of a problem with getting the necessary information.

If everything is alright, then what went wrong?

You may have an impeccable marketing plan, your Realtor has made excellent listings across all medias and still the house is not sold. In such cases, you may want to sit down with your Realtor and brainstorm on what went wrong. Perhaps market conditions are adverse and they just don't allow you to sell. You may need to wait till the market is right again. It may also be that something is wrong with the property. Maybe there are some major repairs/upgrades that you need to do before you sell it.

Maybe you need to change your Realtor

Once the listing has expired, then you would lose trust in your Realtor and that's when you start thinking about hiring another one. If that is the case, then you would have to interview potential real estate agents. Be prepared by asking specific questions because you don't want history to repeat itself.

Here are some sample questions to ask a Realtor:

·         Does your price make sense and fit within the current market
·         Do they have any experience selling properties in your particular area
·         What will they do to market your property
·         How much should you spend on advertising your property
·         How will they tackle negotiations with a potential buyer

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