Why We Won’t Take a 90 Day Listing

J Philip Faranda September 22, 2011

CloudI’ll never say never, but this evening I had to explain to a seller client why I was unwilling to take a listing for only 90 days. I fully understand the reason why sellers want to hold their agent’s feet to the fire and ensure that they aren’t stuck in a long term contract with a brokerage that isn’t working hard to get their home sold. However, even if I sold the house in less than 30 days, a 90 day listing is almost always too short. 

It often takes a good solid 60 days for deals to close in Westchester and the surrounding areas these days. That may seem like an eternity to those in other markets, but remember that we can lose a month just getting a home under contract

I never want to commit what I consider vast resources and tools, to say nothing of my own time, effort and cash, to a client that will wander after such a short time, especially if they don’t list at the price I recommend. Average time on market in Westchester is over 6 months, and even that is misleading because that doesn’t take prior broker contracts into account. 90 days is a bathroom break, and when you consider that we can’t do single property websites, google ad campaigns, professional photography, Youtube walking tours and pre list inspection all done in the first 48 hours, the time get s squeezed even more. It can take a good week to have all the marketing set up and the listing properly imported to all the 50 syndication sites we use.

This is, of course, inspired by events today where a seller had second thoughts about the 180 day agreement he already signed. It was actually an extension to a VERY short initial contract period at a higher price than I advised, and my agent who was working with the guy busted his tail for the client. The place was vacant, so he kept it clean himself, emptied the dehumidifier, and mother henned the heck out of the place. 

A DO understand a seller’s fear of being tied up with a firm that is just waiting for another firm to bring the buyer. I get it. I have seen listings horribly neglected that were tied up with a brokerage for a year.  But that is’t us. We are as aggressive as you can get, and if you doubt it, google the address of one of my listings and tell me what you find. I know you’ll find extraordinary exposure, and that should have our clients resting easy that they are in good hands, and that we are in it for the long haul. 

By the way, I never say never. I would take a listing for 90 days under the right circumstances. I once took a 30 day listing, and it closed 36 days later. But that is a blog for another time. The takeway for consumers is that you want a broker that is committed and eager, but not one who is deperate. Desperate doesn’t sell. 

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