Last week, Inman surveyed readers for their best responses to sellers when they say: “We only want to give you a 60-day listing.”
First off, it’s worth noting that simply agreeing to this stipulation is worth considering. If the market is hot, and you’re worth your salt, some Realtors say, then you should be able to rise to the challenge.
“Great! Sign right here,” one reader said they would respond. “If you can’t price it right, or win their heart for endless extensions (asked for every other week),” she explained, “then you deserve to fail. I’ll take the listing for 30 to 45 days, and win them over for life.”
That said, agreeing to a 60-day listing can be risky for agents. It can also have some downsides for sellers. In light of this, here are some of our favorite suggestions from readers on how to persuade potential clients to back off a 60-day requirement — or to counter with some conditions to protect yourself.
As always, be sure to only use the responses that fit the situation and align with your values.
The hard ‘nope’
- I list a home for 120 days. If the home is unsold after two months, you can cancel.
- I’m sorry. I can’t do that. Our company policy is six months minimum. Any other questions?
Sure, so long as you agree to my price
- If I agree to take your listing for 60 days are you willing to do the following: 1) Price your home where I tell you. 2) Stage your home. 3) Get a pre-inspection and make repairs if necessary. 4) Offer closing cost support for the buyer if necessary. 5) Pay a higher fee to the buyer’s agent if necessary. 6) Agree to price decreases if necessary. And 7) include personal property if necessary. If seller says no then walk. Don’t take a listing you can’t sell in a short time period.
- If you list at my suggested price, we can do 60 days to prove myself. If you insist on your price, I cannot do 60 days.
- If we price it correctly, that would be fine. The house will sell within 60 days … if you are willing to look at the data!
- Mr. Seller, buyers can see how long your listing period is and when they see a short timeframe, they automatically think you are just putting your home out there with a high price to “test the market” and they don’t take you seriously. When they see your listing period is for six months to a year, they know that you are serious about selling your home and they will take you seriously. Besides, if you change your mind and decide not to sell, I will gladly let you out of the listing contract early as long as you will agree to reimburse me for marketing expenses. I think that’s fair, don’t you agree?
- Seller, do I have your permission to be honest and straight forward with you? I invest a lot of money and effort to fully expose my listings to the market. However, many homes do not receive an acceptable offer within 60 days. Anyone can sell a house if they price it low enough, but I want to get the most money your house will bring in the current market. So, in order to assure that, I may need more than 60 days. If you want a guaranteed sale within 60 days, we can price your house according.
- Great. In order to ensure your home is sold in 60 days we will need to introduce it to the market at 5-10 percent under the comparable sales price in order to get enough buyers to get you the highest price and close the escrow in 60 days.
- If my timeline is restricted, then we need to price aggressively and accurately. There can’t be any room for price drops
But the market says …
- The market shows it can take longer to sell,
- If average DOM exceeds 60 days I refer to that. If that does not apply, I focus on the amount of time and effort aside from creating a strong marketing campaign and the time it will take for me to call prospective buyers and circle prospect the listing.
- The average days on market is [X, if near or higher than 60] so unless you want to price it low, we’ll need more time.
I’ll commit to you. Will you commit to me?
- Until your home sells, it is all my time and all my money to market your home. Sixty days is not enough time for me to fully market your property to buyers and their brokers and to analyze the results of that effort. I am committing to you. Are you willing to commit to me with a longer listing period?
- May I share a story? [Give address or town] this home in [blank] with the huge garage that overshadowed the house, we worked with the sellers to upgrade and fix all sorts of things for six months before listing it for just 90 days. When they decided to change listing agents after the 90 days, a buyer came forth with the help of a buyer’s agent who had just started their search. The deal went through and the agent with 30 days invested earned the paycheck while the one with 180 days did not. Is that fair? Can we ever predict exactly when the right buyer will come along? We can not, so let’s be fair.
That could backfire
- A property with a history of being listed for repeated, abbreviated terms may signal to buyers and agents that the owner is capricious and may be difficult to do business with.
Cool, but if we get to 60, you may want to consider extending because …
- Great, we have a lot of work to then. Just keep in mind, as we near the 60 day mark, we should consider extending the listing period. The last thing we want is for the home to have an expired history which could lead buyers to thinking something is wrong and present lower offers.
Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and therefore are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state.