How to Reinvigorate a Lingering Listing

Many homes are flying off the market these days, but not all. Some homes this fall may be starting to linger. And once a property has sat on the market for too many days, home buyers can start to notice, particularly in a hot market like the current one.

“It might lead buyers to assume there is something wrong with the property,” Heather Bogenhagen, a real estate professional with Berkshire Hathaway in Santa Monica, Calif., told realtor.com®.

The typical home spent a median of 43 days on the market in September, according to realtor.com®. Eighty-seven percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

High-end properties with higher dollar tags tend to sit on the market much longer, possibly for a year or more since the pool of buyers is smaller, Wendi Roudybush, associate broker with Garden Brook Realty in Prescott, Ariz., told realtor.com®. Lower-priced homes tend to sell faster, real estate pros report.

Regardless, if a property starts to linger too long—to the point it’s getting noticed for that—a real estate professional may suggest withdrawing the listing and relisting it at a later time. The multiple listing service will reset the days on the market once it is redrawn.

But the lingering listing may also be a sign that the price is too high or the home needs some updating (a few cosmetic updates like painting and new photos may help, experts say).

Bogenhagen says that often a listing that lags is an indication the house is priced incorrectly.

“It could be that the prices are changing rapidly and maybe the price was fine two weeks before it was listed, but then there was fluctuation once the house actually went on the market,” Bogenhagen told realtor.com®.

Price adjustments are becoming more common. More new listings are coming on to the market this fall, which has opened up more possibilities to potential home buyers. As listings increase, the rate of sellers making price adjustments also has increased. At the beginning of September, the share of sellers who made listing price adjustments grew to 17.3% of active inventory, which is the highest share in 21 months and close to more typical levels that were seen in 2016 and 2019, according to realtor.com® data.

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