By: Michele Lerner
If a home lingers on the market too long, it begins to acquire, well, a reputation. Deserved or not, the home may be perceived by buyers as flawed or overpriced. So in the interest of avoiding a bad rep—or becoming the real estate equivalent of the last kid picked for kickball at recess—some sellers pull their listing from the market and take some time to reassess and, eventually, relist.
Of course, it’s not as easy as pulling the home one day and relisting the next. Even if you take a home off the market and start over with a new agent, it won’t necessarily appear as a new listing. Your local multiple listing service has rules that determine what qualifies as new.
In Chicago, for example, you’ll need to have your home off the market for as long as six months before it can count as new. In Jacksonville, FL, you only have to wait 45 days. Since the rules vary from city to city, make sure to check with a local broker about how long your home must be off the market before it can be “new” again.
In the Washington, DC, metro area, your home has to be off the market for at least 90 days to reset the “days on market” ticker to zero, says Sue Goodhart with McEnearney Associates in Alexandria, VA. She added that it’s not a total reset, because the property record will still indicate the home’s previous exposure to the market.
Property sales and listing history are easy for any prospective buyer to find, says Rhonda Duffy, broker/owner of Duffy Realty of Atlanta. While a lingering listing might be giving your home a bad rep, she thinks marketing plays an important role in getting your home sold.
“Getting a new MLS number is much less important than what I call ‘juicing’ a listing with something new that will grab the attention of buyers,” Duffy said.
The first thing an agent can do is analyze why your home didn’t sell and then address that issue, Goodhart says.
“Sometimes it’s the price, but often it’s the way the home shows in person or online, or a lack of targeted marketing,” she said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as realizing that the photos were taken on a cloudy day and it makes the rooms look too dark.”