‘Dead’ Listings Get a New Life

June 28, 2012

The big drop in inventories of homes for-sale is helping once-expired listings finally get sold. Sellers are finding relisting their properties may offer them more luck now than a few months ago, real estate professionals report. 

Nationwide inventories of single-family homes, condos, townhouses, and co-ops has fallen about 20 percent in the last year, according to Realtor.com. Inventories are at some of their lowest levels ever observed. Meanwhile, more buyers are coming off the sidelines, wanting to take advantage of record low mortgage rates and low prices, but are finding fewer properties to choose from. 

As such, some real estate agents are soliciting once-expired listings to convince sellers that they can give them a successful second chance at making a sale. For example, in Atlanta, one broker, who realized the value of expired listings, offered 25 iPads to her real estate agents who brought expired listings from competitors.

“Think about this ... every single listing is now twice as prominent and important as it would have been back in the day of 100,000 available listings,” broker Ann Bone told RISMedia. “Each listing today is worth two listings two years ago.” 

Many real estate professionals take a listing for 90 days and if it doesn’t sell, then it expires. Several MLSs require that expired listings stay off the market for at least 90 days to prevent agents from continually relisting properties and hiding the actual accumulated days on the market, reports RISMedia.

Some agents report that they’ve had some luck at taking an expired listings and then selling them within five days of coming back as a new listing. But others caution it’s not as easy as just relisting the property. Many of these expired listings may need to address possible flaws that may have held them back in the first place — such as not priced right for the market or not in the right condition — before they return to the market, if they hope for a better outcome. 

Source: “Dead Listings Live Again in Tight Markets,” RISMedia (June 27, 2012)