Jul 13, 2011

Thinking of Cancelling Your Listing with Your Realtor? Consider this....

Cancellations are rampant in our Anchorage and Eagle River market.  Since January 1st, we've had 574 cancellations (and 236 listings that expired) compared to 1544 closings.  Sellers cancel or let their listings expire for all sorts of reasons but a lot of time it's because they've decided to hire a different Realtor.  Many seller expect that the Realtor they hired has a pool of their own buyers just waiting to buy their listings and this is very uncommon that the listing Realtor also finds the buyer.  So before you become a disgruntled seller thinking of cancelling your listing, see if there is a possible reason your home has not sold.

1)  Have you been consistently reducing the price every 3 weeks, after 2 weeks of no showings, or 10 showings and no offers by at least 3% each time?  I see several listings that just sit on the MLS with no price reductions and they eventually expire or cancel.  I don't know if there has ever been a market where it was common that a house on the market over 30 days sold for full price and did not also have all the buyers closing costs.  You need to be proactive and if the market is not responding to your home with offers, reduce the price.  It's like any other product, if it doesn't get bought, it goes on sale.  If it doesn't sell even at a reduced price, it goes on clearance.  Don't let your house go on clearance by waiting to long to do a decent price reduction.

2) When you look at the photos on the MLS, does your home show well or does it looked "lived in."  See if there are more items you can box up and take out of the house, should you get the carpets shampooed, fix the flooring, finally replace the hot water heater, stage furniture, repaint walls to a neutral color?  If you do make changes, ask your Realtor to take new photos of those areas and swap them out with the old ones on the MLS and on flyers.

3) Are you making it easy to show?  Easy to show means 1-2 hours notice.....even when you have kids.  Any time I've had a seller with young kids and was willing to pack up the kids and dogs in the car and leave the house on short notice for showings, there homes sold faster and for more money than those homes were ample notice was required to show the home.

4) What was your expectation of a time frame to sell your home?  Does it meet the market average or are you anxious after no offers and very few showings in the first 30 days, 60 days?  As of today, the average market time for a residential home is 76 days.  For a condo it is 98 days.  Did you discuss with your Realtor what time frame your home might sell in based on your list price?  If you started at the top of the price range, it will likely take longer.  Or did you and your Realtor priced the home on the lower end of the price range to beat out the competition and get it sold quickly?

5)  Have you toured similar homes?  Have you asked your Realtor to show you 3 or 4 homes that are on the market that are you toughest competition?  Take a tour of those homes and note changes that you may need to make to your home and discuss with your Realtor if after seeing those homes, if you really are priced correctly.

6)  Did your Realtor give you a marketing plan and did they follow through with their promises?  As a Realtor we each have to come up with strategy to best sell your home and broadcast it to as many potential buyers as possible but no matter what, a home that is in great condition, in a good location, listed at a great price, and photographed well sells and no matter how much marketing your Realtor does, if your home is not priced right, it will not sell.

I will admit, some Realtors just do not do a great job at selling their listings.  But there are also many who do that still have sellers cancel the listings and move on to other Realtors.  Also, make sure you read your listing contract before cancelling to see if there is any penalty for cancelling before the contract expires.  The Croom Team honors a Hassle Free Listing Agreement that can be found at http://www.thecroomteam.com/!

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