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My Listing Expired…Now What?

My Listing Expired…Now What?

Having your listing expire is frustrating to say the least.

The way the Freeport IL area real estate market is right now, there are a lot of homes that don’t get sold by the end of their listing period.    The unfortunate fact is that there are about 342 homes and condos for sale in Freeport.  On average about 25 or so get sold each month.  I wish the news was better, but it is what it is.  The homes that sell are the ones that are correctly priced for the market, area, and condition and that are marketed aggressively by the listing agent.   

Ok, your home listing has expired so now what do you do.

Option A:  Re-List the House

If you feel that your agent did a good job, by all means re-list with your original agent.  If they gave you good advice (did you take it?) and worked hard to market the home, you’re better off staying with them and extending your listing.  They already know your home, your financial situation, and your personal goals.

If you feel that your real estate agent is partly to blame for your house not selling, then find a new one. Get the real estate agent that you feel will do the best job marketing your home, not based on what they say they will list it for. We don’t decide what houses will sell for.  Buyers do.  Reaching the right buyer is critical, and marketing is how that happens.

Speaking of listing price, whichever agent you choose to re-list you’ll need to take another look at your bottom line and your asking price.    With the market as it is today, values can shift in just a few months (the average price here has dropped nearly $10,000 just since January).  It can be a brutal wake up call to find out that your home value of $145,000 just 5 years ago is now more like $110,000.  To a buyer it may be $100,000. If you have equity and can take the hit to get the home sold, price it where a buyer is most likely to buy it.

Take a hard look at your bottom line.  If you can’t price it for the market without losing money your other options are:

  1. Bring cash to the closing.If you can’t meet your bottom line and sell at market prices, do you have the money to bring to the table if this is the only option and you have to move?
  2. Don’t have the cash to bring to the table?If you have a provable hardship, you owe more than it’s worth, you might be able to do a short sale (if you have to do a short sale, find an agent that’s good at them – they’re not easy, you need an short sale expert).

Whatever your situation, when you sell a house make sure you hire the best agent possible for your situation, listen to their advice, and price the house right.   That’s your best shot at getting it sold in today’s market.

Option B:  Don’t Sell It

This may sound a little ironic coming from a real estate agent (who only gets paid when you sell your house), but if you don’t have to sell, don’t sell.   My personal opinion is there’s nowhere to go but up, so if you can hold off for a few more years, you’ll most likely be better off.

  1. Stay in the house and wait out the market for a few years.  It’s a tough real estate market here in the Rockford area, and if you can afford to stay put for a little while this may be the best thing you can do.
  2. If you still have to move, what about leasing out your home for a year or so?The rental and lease markets here are still pretty strong.
  3. If your loan is part of the problem, consider applying for a Loan Modificationto lower your outlay and let you stay in the home longer.

Think about it before you decide to re-list your house. It’s a buyer’s market out there right now, and prices are still dropping by the month.  For many people it makes more sense to wait it out.  Other than for the normal “must sell” reasons, the only other time I would advise a home owner in this market to sell their house is if they are doing it to move up into a higher price bracket and stay there for at least 5 years.  You may take a 20% hit on your current home, but you’ll be getting that same percent on a higher priced home.  Over the long term, it’s a better deal.

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