To List or Not to List – The Pros and Cons of Listing a House You Think Might Not Sell

I’ve heard a lot of opposing views on whether or not to take certain listings and whether it’s worth it in the end, both on the end of the seller and the agent, in Durango and all over the nation.

The fact of the matter is that sometimes I can tell at the first listing appointment that the seller is really not ready to sell and is not going to consider my recommendations. They may not be willing to price the home correctly, or maybe they will, and they are not willing to prepare the property for sale to compete with other homes in their price range. There is a limitless amount of issues that can go right or wrong when it comes to listing a house. But for this exercise, let’s just say that you just know deep down, this will be a struggle between yourself and your clients from beginning to end. Is it better to list or not to list in this scenario?

Cons- Many of these are obvious, and there’s no lack of them. It costs money to market a property for sale, if you do it right. If there’s little chance that it will sell, then you could lose all the money on advertising and all the time wasted. The stress that comes along with having to fight a seller that feels they need not listen to a professional can also be a drag. There are few things worse than explaining over and over again the same thing to deaf ears that could care less.

You can also from time to time get the feeling that your peers are judging you due to the property that you list. We all know the snide comments about an overpriced listing and how we and our clients are just dreaming. Or if the house is not in great showing shape you could be the talk of the office. Plus, no one likes to see their listing expire.

The biggest Con for me is that the seller is not going to be happy with my service. What good is it to list if you already know it’s not going to sell. It’s a huge emotional drain for both the seller and the agent.

But what about the pros of this situation? I can hear agent say right now: “In the end, it is still a listing and I know a few agents that never saw a listing they didn’t like. It’s still your name on the sign in the yard and it’s still something for you to work with.”

The fact of the matter is that people search for homes for sale, not so much for Realtors. The more listings a realtor has, the more opportunities you have to attract a buyer that will be willing to work with you, even if they do not purchase one of your listings. Any listing gives you something to advertise.

Never underestimate the luck factor my friends. Once and a while even a blind squirrel finds a nut and some times even the listings that aren’t so great do sell. You never know when the right person will end up in the right place, so you do have to just put yourself out there once and a while. I’ve seen that happen a few times on listings I thought for sure would never sell, and they did, in the end, all you need is 1 Buyer, one person to fall in love with the house.

In summary, I’d rather be honest with my clients and say it like it is. Nobody is served by pretending that I can sell a house that is overprice, especially in this tough buyer’s market we are experiencing at this time. I like to take listings that have a good chance of selling and then give it my very best and get them sold. Everyone will be happy in the end. If you don’t need to sell, don’t. Wait for the market to turn. The buyers will be back, I’m sure of that. Might not be this year or next, but soon, I promise.

Claudia Williams