It can be a real blow to your confidence if your property listing agreement expires without you having sold your home. The initial excitement that comes from signing a listing agreement with a real estate agent may quickly fade and be replaced with anxiety and disappointment. Selling a home can be the biggest financial transaction in your lifetime and it’s natural to have strong emotions throughout the process. Although you hope that everything will go according to plan with a quick sale at a high price, as the weeks go by and there are no suitable offers, frustration will often set in.
The terms of real estate listings can vary: with durations that may last from three months right up to a year. But no matter how long the term was; it can still be disheartening when the listing expires without a sale. At this point, the initial professional agreement between you and your real estate agent has come to an end, so it’s time to start examining what happened. Was the property not selling your fault, or your agent’s?
Motivations for Selling a Home
As you start to examine your specific selling situation, it’s a good idea to look at your reasons for selling. The most successful sales will have strong motivation behind them, so if you have no real reason to sell your home this may be part of the cause of the expired listing. The following are examples of good reasons to sell:
- You have a growing family and your current house is too small.
- You have increased financial means and the ability to move into a higher quality property.
- You are unhappy in your current home and want to try a different living situation.
- Your relationship status has changed.
- Your children have left the nest and you want to downsize your living space.
- Your neighbourhood has taken a turn for the worse.
- You have landed a new job or been transferred to a different location.
- Health issues make your current property unsuitable.
- You want to move closer to your extended family (or further away).
- Your home requires maintenance that you’d rather not deal with.
- You have renovated your property and want to move on to a new challenge.
- You are in need of cash and wish to use your equity.
- You or your family is in the midst of a major lifestyle change and your current property doesn’t match your new goals.
If you can’t find your reason to sell on this list, then it’s time to take a closer look at your motivations. Without genuine motivation to sell, you won’t be willing to put the effort into a property sale that it needs. It may be time to take your home off the market and wait until a later date. If you did have a strong motivation for selling, then consider the following…
Examining Marketing Techniques
Marketing and advertising are extremely important when it comes to selling any property. Take a closer look at the strategies you (and your real estate agent) used and ask yourself the following questions: Were there certain marketing methods which brought in results and others which didn’t? Did you employ enough different mediums to draw in a wide audience? Did you try techniques such as virtual tours and direct mail?
Examine the Property’s Current Condition
As a seller, you’re probably already aware that potential buyers will be comparing properties for sale in your area. If your house is in poorer condition than its competition, this could be the reason why your listing expired. You may be able to reach your goal by undertaking some simple repairs before you put your home back up on the market. Another factor to consider is staging, which can help make or break a sale. If you didn’t stage last time, you will want to try this technique the second time around. It’s important to ensure that your house is in its best possible condition to impress buyers during inspections.
What Deterred the Original Potential Buyers?
If you didn’t receive any suitable offers during your first round of trying to sell the property, you will want to find out why. You need to review and analyse what buyers thought and said about the property. A good real estate agent will solicit and compile buyer feedback as part of the selling process. Take a look at this feedback and establish whether their objections or criticisms are valid. This could help you a great deal in going forward.
Estate Agent Interest
Once your initial real estate listing has expired, you may see a surge of interest from estate agents with positive attitudes when it comes to putting your home back on the market. But this is not necessarily an indication of overall interest. It’s illegal for a real estate agent to steal an active listing from another agent, but once the listing has expired, other real estate agents will do their best to get your business. In fact, there are some agents who base their careers around acquiring recently expired listings, and selling your property may not be their top priority. If nothing else, acquiring the listing to your property helps give their agency another location to put up signs, even if no buyers were interested in your home. If you want to take some time to compare your options before choosing a new real estate agent, you can ask your current agent to remove the listing from internet data lists.
Interview New Potential Real Estate Agents
With an expired listing, you now have the chance to find the right agent to represent your property. You won’t want to waste this opportunity, particularly if you have already experienced disappointment. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions to find out what the agent will do to sell your property. Find out how their marketing and sales strategies differ from your previous agent’s. If you find a new agent who not only matches all of the necessary criteria, but is also willing to go the extra mile to sell your home, you will want to list with them.
Speak to Your Current Agent About Why the Listing Has Expired
The case may be that your current real estate agent has worked hard to sell your home and has completed all of their marketing plans to their fullest. In this case, you may need to sit down and discuss whether the lack of a sale is due to current market conditions. You may have overpriced your home according to these conditions. Your estate agent could perform a new comparative market analysis to uncover a potential reduced sales price. This could be the change you need to sell your home quickly.
If you’re happy with your current real estate agent and have formed a valuable business relationship with them, you may wish to re-list your property with them. Be sure to ask for their opinions regarding what changes will be needed to sell the home, as well as what the new price should be. If they tell you that you need to have refurbishments completed or faults repaired, you’ll need to consider this carefully.
Your real estate agent also has invested a great deal of time, money, and effort into the advertising and marketing of your home. If you have chosen to work with an honest, hardworking professional, they will want to keep you on board as a client and renew your commitment to selling your property.