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Are Withdrawn Listings Legitimate?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Premier Properties SL3375271

There is a real estate practice that I have questions regarding. Are withdrawn listings legitimate? The usually situation where a listing becomes withdrawn is when your customer wants the listing removed for a short period of time. The customer wants to do some repairs or improvements to increase the likelihood of a beneficial sale. A situation that can occur when the customer requests a withdrawal could be if they become ill. There are many reasons a customer may want their listing withdrawn.


Don't confuse withdrawn with the real estate agent being fired. The rule is that if I am marketing to expired listings, I cannot market to a listing that is withdrawn before it becomes expired. That is definitely a big NO. If the listing becomes expired without a current withdrawn history, I can market to that homeowner. If the listing becomes withdrawn and then the expired date occurs, you then need to contact the listing agent to see if their contract is over.  I have called and left messages with a few real estate agents asking if they still have an agreement with the homeowner. They never call me back. I was informed in a GRI course that if you are not called back then go ahead and market.


Here is where it is a questionable situation. A few agents, I have noticed, withdraw a listing a week or so before the listing is expired (expires 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, etc). Are they doing this at the request of the homeowner? Or, are they doing it so they have time to extend the agreement and don't want their customer contacted? If it is the later, is this a good practice? Would this be beneficial to the homeowner? The only scenario where this would be beneficial to the homeowner is if the withdrawal was at the request of the homeowner. How do we know it was the homeowner's request? Some states may have a form that the homeowner signs to show that they requested the listing be withdrawn. If there isn't a form then it is a verbal request. 


I believe that when the usually agents, time after time, show the listing as withdrawn a week or so before a listing is expired may not be doing this at the request of the homeowner. The homeowner may not even know that their listing is withdrawn. If this is the case, is it the best practice?