How long should a listing be for the "I don't have to sell" seller?

Real Estate Broker/Owner CA#01772851 HI#RB21268

Probably every real estate agent has his own idea how long a listing should be, probably the longer the better. From the sellers standpoint, I'm sure that asking for a year's listing makes the seller think it will take that long to sell it.

Why would a seller sign a long listing? Here's the biggie:

The "I don't have to sell" seller:

This is one that agents should RUN from because there is a hidden meaning in those words:

It will be overpriced! Heck, it's probably WAY overpriced!

And here is what happens next:

1. The agent will take on the listing, but wants a year's listing period.

2. The house won't sell.

3. The seller finally realizes that he will not get his price - this can take up to year.

4. The seller and agent finally decide on a price reduction.

5. The house still does not sell, even if it is now priced right.

Followed by:

1. The seller is very disappointed.

2. The seller does not renew the listing.

3. The seller hires another agent who prices it correctly.

4. The house sells within a few days.

5. That agent is the HERO and will get all that sellers future business!

So what happened?

This is the age old story with an overpriced house. Buyers have great expectations when they look at it, but when they realize it isn't special at all, in fact, way overpriced, they and their agents pass on it.

In fact, agents don't come back with other clients either, they don't want to disappoint others as well. So the house doesn't get any traffic until another agent takes over.

By the by:

I've actually seen this happen several times with the same house, until finally it sells. And usually quite a bit less than it should have, had it been priced right to start with.

So what's the answer, how long should a listing period be?

It depends on your sales price and the market your are in.


Why this photo? You can build a very complicated doggie fountain, but to the everage dog, the water is still the same. Really, think about it. You can't sell the public a bill of goods if it doesn't have the value. TIME will not change that.

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Hella Rothwell at Carmel Beach during Concours WeekCarmel-by-the-Sea Beach and Pebble Beach Golf Course California

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Real Estate Broker/Owner/Realtor®
Licensed in California #01772851 & Hawaii #RB-21268

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds 06/13/2017 12:00 PM
Home Selling
Northern California Real Estate Professionals
ActiveRain Contests

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Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Those are some tough listings.  Without the motivation, it makes it hard on everyone involved.

Jun 12, 2017 03:27 PM #1
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

We have all heard those words then the selle gets on the market and wants to know why it is taking so long. The reason is usually it is priced too high.

Jun 12, 2017 04:28 PM #2
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


It really depends on the seller and the agent advising them.  There are different theories out there.  A

Jun 12, 2017 08:56 PM #3
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I take all of my listings for 6 months. Even when I know it will probably sell in a week, I still tend to list it for 6 months.

With overpriced listings, and I occasionally get a few of those, I make sure the seller and I have a good rapport and that the seller completely understands the trouble and expense I will undergo to market that home, regardless of my professional opinion on price, and I get a commitment. Otherwise, there is no reason to do it. So they don't drop me, they stick with me until either the rising tide raises the boat or they drop the price.

Jun 13, 2017 08:06 AM #4
Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA
PREA Realty - Laguna Niguel, CA

An overpriced listing paired with an I don't need to sell seller is a losing combination. 

Jun 13, 2017 12:38 PM #5
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good afternoon Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor® ,

I'm glad that Debbie Reynolds re-blogged your post..I missed it the other day! I really agree with Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA ..pretty much a losing combination that I don't have time for.

Jun 13, 2017 01:58 PM #6
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

This scenario has happened to most of us and there is almost no way to win this game. Unless the seller is willing to sign an automatic price reduction after a certain number of days (say 30), it's better to walk away and let another agent take the listing. If we KNOW they are overpricing their house, they are shooting themselves (and us) in the foot by pricing too high.

Jun 14, 2017 07:32 AM #7
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Such interesting responses from all of you on this one as I'm just looking back at this. You are very good minds for the business.

Jun 14, 2017 10:01 PM #8
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Yes, I'm also with Jill Murty, Realtor - Orange County, CA - no time for that and your advice to run away from these sellers is absolutely right, Hella!  

And, you're spot-on about homes lingering on the market after being listed at an over-inflated price and ultimately selling for less!  These sellers have no motivation to price the home right and actually SELL it for it's true value right out of the gate!

Great post, Hella!

Jun 17, 2017 10:20 AM #9
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Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®

Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea
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