Seller and buyer beware: Delisting and relisting a home on the real estate market might get it back on the “hot sheets” – which show homes that just hit market -- but it won't change the property's value. In fact, in some areas, the MLS, or multiple listing service, which is the primary data system that most real estate agents use, prohibits this practice. Therefore, sellers should carefully evaluate their homes, the market and their area's MLS rules before making a decision to delist, while buyers should diligently understand the real “days on the market” statistic for homes of interest.
The most practical reason for delisting a house is to give the seller an opportunity to make repairs or improvements on a distressed property. Especially in a depressed real estate market, sellers need every competitive advantage they can create to market a home. Taking time to haul off junk, perform deep-cleaning tasks inside and out, paint, landscape and make repairs can increase the chances of a sale and boost the sale price.
If there are too many homes for sale in your local area, the competition may be too steep to net you a sale. Additionally, if there's a particular home in the area with enhanced features -- and the seller willing to sell for less than market value -- you might decide to delist until that home sells to give your property a better chance of selling at the price you want.
An economic downturn almost always impacts real estate sales – creating a flood of foreclosures and short sales. As such, even if you can get a reasonable offer in this kind of market, the chances of the buyer securing an appraisal to support a mortgage note are diminished when comparable homes are selling as short sales for less than market values. If you have a valuable property, but you’re competing with a large number of short sales in the neighborhood, it might be a good idea to delist the home -- and wait until the market resumes with sale prices that reflect true value to relist if this is possible.
Holidays present a special challenge when selling a home. Many families have a constant flood of friends and relatives during these seasons. This does not provide an ideal environment for showing a home. If you know your schedule will not allow an agent reasonable access to your home during any season, you should consider delisting.
Although a cancel and relist action might generate some interest and activity on a home, it also shows a lack of integrity – which may deter a potential sale. If your home is not selling, it’s more likely that you need to take a step back and look at its curb appeal and true value. Presenting your property in move-in condition at a fair price should increase your chances of a sale better than trying to manipulate the statistics.
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