A stale or dead listing is one that fails to attract inquiries or has been on the market for longer than the average for its location and price range. Texas REALTORS® instructor and broker Jodi Sherretts, who teaches a number of courses related to listings and pricing, has some advice for when this happens to one of your listings.
Make Sure the Property Is Priced Appropriately
The first step is to evaluate how the property is priced, according to Sherretts. “Price it well, and it will sell,” she says. The sellers may have reasons for wanting to achieve a certain sale price, but the market isn’t concerned with those reasons. Sellers may not like the suggestion of a price decrease—Sherretts says you can try calling it an adjustment—but the longer the home sits, the more the price will have to come down to attract interest. Remind them that time spent on the market is time they continue to cover the costs of the home, eating into the profit figure they may be aiming for.
Improve the Presentation
Along with a price adjustment, a languishing listing may also benefit from new photos. Try hiring a professional or updating the staging. “Don’t have a Christmas tree in the background in July,” Sherretts says.
Update the MLS Information
Making changes to the listing in the MLS—such as the price, photos, or description—can deliver an alert to anyone who has bookmarked the property, serving as a prompt to view the listing again. “It helps to keep it fresh,” Sherretts says.
Talk With Your Sellers
Sometimes the issue isn’t with the listing but with the sellers. Maybe they aren’t allowing many showings or are otherwise making it more difficult to attract buyers. Try to separate fact from opinion, Sherretts says. And deliver your message gently.
Ultimately, it still comes back to pricing, according to Sherretts. “If you do the pricing really good upfront, you shouldn’t be met with a stale listing,” she says.