As we slide into the “off-season”, sellers are left with the dilemma: Should they keep loitering on the MLS, or cancel the listing and wait for better times.
Here are both sides of the coin:
STAY ON THE MARKET
1. You’ve Come This Far – It is a hassle to keep the house in showing condition, and to work around the appointments – especially with those pesky agents who give little or no notice. Let’s get this over with!
2. Your Agent Has Worked For It – You’d like to see the sale happen for your agent’s sake too, because they’ve been at it for weeks or months.
3. Other Listings Will Cancel – You might have the local market to yourself in 20-40 days, hang in there.
4. Price Reduction is Mandatory – If you’ve been on the open market for more than 30 days, everyone who is interested in your home has seen it by now. There won’t be many buyers starting their search in fall, so to re-ignite the possible enthusiasm you’ve already built, lower the price 10%. Don’t scoff – if nobody bought it during the selling season, it’s because your price was too optimistic – and know that 10% might not be enough.
It’s nothing personal; your house is probably worth the money – just not today, apparently. If you absolutely refuse to lower the price, then you might as well cancel and hope something will be different next year.
CANCEL LISTING, AND TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR
1. Agents are Dogs – Once you cancel your listing, you will be hounded by other agents incessantly until you list the home, or die.
2. More Competition – With the much-higher pricing available, we’ve been expecting a surge of new listings – and you only need a few neighbors to spoil your chances.
3. Buyers Will Remember You – The new buyers in town will see your previous attempts to sell on Zillow – you’re not going to fool anyone – and they will hold the price failure against you unless reduced.
4. Higher Prices Next Year – The only reason to wait is if you think prices will be higher – and you won’t raise yours! It’s an important distinction – you’re choosing to wait for prices to catch up with your current list price.
When you look at both sides of this coin, I guess you can say they are pointing in the same direction!
Would it hurt to wait? Yes it could, because if there is a surge of new listings around you, the chances of getting this year’s money is remote (which is probably 5% to 10% below your current list price).
There is an unsettling relationship between the amount of inventory, and buyers’ willingness to step up. Notice the history of the number of NSDCC detached-home listings below. After three years of lower counts, in 2006 there was a 16% increase of new listings between Jan 1 and August 31, and it was enough of a surge that not even Angelo’s no-down, no-doc loans could save us:
The 2003-2005 era was similar to today – a long winning streak of reduced inventory and rising prices. Will 2015 be the year of the inventory surge? If so, you’ll be glad you sold this year.