Nadia, Home Buyer in Maine

When to re-list if no sale this winter?

Asked by Nadia, Maine Thu Dec 13, 2007

I get the impression that the spring/summer season is sort of the primo season for real estate. If I don't sell my house in the next month or so, I'm going to pull it and re-list a little later, to get the 'new to market' notices. When is the market most ripe for new listings? Here in Maine, we're still under snow until May, at the earliest, and March and April are pretty miserable and muddy and gray, so I'm thinking May, unless I'd be missing out on the wave of likely buyers.

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Hi Nadia - I have a home in southern Maine. The market really starts in March. People start driving up from Massachusetts, New York, etc in March. RE: mud season - if you live on a private dirt road, I would wait til the end of mud season ie May. Otherwise, I would have it on the market in March.
Re: MLS - yes, you can pul it off and on for a day. But any agent will see that it is a relist and share that info with their buyer. If you want it to show up as a brand new listing, not a relist with a new MLS no., I believe that you will need to have it off the market for 60 days. So your plan should do the trick on that.
Lastly, before you do your new listing, have your agent do a year over year report for you showing sales and price changes in your town. It will help you in your pricing. I agree with you that spring and early summer are the primo season, but as the summer wears on, things tend to slow down here. Your agent's report should help you with that too. I would be cautious about not listing too late.
I am ready for spring now!!!!!!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 14, 2007
Hi Nadia,

Since you are aparently listed with a Licensed Agent.., most other Licensed Agents will be very careful about communicating in any real constructive way with you as it could be seen as a breach of ethics.

As for a "wave" of likely buyers.... trust me, unless your home is priced under market value please do not expect any kind of wave or back to normal real estate market that soon. Trust your Agent and have a stratigy session with them. - Listings that come off the MLS still show up to all Agents for sometimes years and with 95% of homes sold by Buyers Agents with their buyers in tow... they will know you had your home listed. I believe that the multiples should disclose that fact to sellers.

As for the season, resort communities and some others do see a bit of a spike when they are "in season" for their area, but it has been my expierence that you are better off having your home on the market, in good season or bad, when others take theirs off thinking the season has passed them by...your buyer may just show up. :)

Happy Holidays and ...have a talk with your agent again. Ask and you shall receive.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2007
A home has to be listed in order to sell. I am not in favor of taking a home off and on and off and on. Buyers will forget your home is for sale when you take it off. April may be a muddy season, but if you negotiate a contract with 60 days to closing, there you go -- and its summer!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
I think it really depends on the weather AND the economy -- Both are closely related. If the weather gets warmer in February, relist in March. I sold a home in February last year that was on the market less than a month. Pricing competitvely will be important if sellers are motivated to sell in the spring and move on themselves before school starts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 1, 2013
Hi Nadia,
I have a couple of pieces of advice, simple suggestions, to help get you more money for your home and pay less commission in doing so.

Interview at least two, three if possible, realtors before deciding who to re-list with.
Get involved in the "Market Analysis" aspect of the pricing of your home. Some brokers will overprice your home because they believe you will likely list with them if they bring the highest estimated price for your home. Don't fall for that. Get a real idea of what your home is worth. You can still list it higher if you want to with any agent, but get a realistic idea of what you should be willing to accept on an offer.

Another important thing to consider is the commission. This is negotiable, there is no standard, and it should be flexible depending on whether the deal is co-broked, if the listing agent is the only agent getting paid (should be a discount), or what if you are using the same broker to find a new home when you sell this one? I typically list homes at 5% and reduce the commission to 4% if there are no other brokers involved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 24, 2008
Nadia, I am a Real Etstate professional in Cumberland/North Yarmouth Maine. First of all, you do NOT need to have your house off the Market for 90 days to make it show up in MLS as new. I belive you should look seriously at your pricing structure and where your house has been marketed, how it was promotoed and how widely it was introduced on the world wide web. To me these things all make a huge difference. You are right that we do have huge snow banks still ad it is mud season...that being said we put numerous properties under contract in our small local office in the past two weeks! So if all things are done right, it will still sell. Best of luck, I hope this was helpful.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 31, 2008
Hey Ginger
It is 90 days off the market for the home to show up as new on the MLS. So,Nadia, if you take it off the market now an listen to Ginger's advice you will be good to go end of March.
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 22, 2007
I agree with Ginger.

Now, not knowing your market and the fact that today is different than yesterday, take the following information with a grain of salt...

Chasing the market is bad. Overpricing is bad. Stale listings are bad (not that the house is bad, but that the potential for selling at a fair price is bad).
It only takes one buyer. What most agents, sellers and economists don't take into account is LUCK.

What my research found:
I did a study on all of the price changes and listing agent changes in my market. I looked at all the DOM, canceled listings, solds, etc. I looked at my notes from when the house was first listed, what I thought about it. Was it over priced? Was it in good condition? Was it a bargain? What I discovered was PRICE was not necessarily the factor but it was LUCK.

My research showed that not one overpriced home sold. However, some homes that I thought were in mint condition and bargain priced, didn't sell. They were just taken off the market. Other homes kept reducing their price and still didn't sell. I tracked the time of the listing date until the date that it went under contract, not the date that it closed. What I discovered for a specific criteria of 4bd/3bth 2500-3500 sq ft was that if it didn't get a contract in the first 30 days with no price reductions, it wasn't likely to sell at all. The list to asking price might have ranged from 80% to 100% giving validity of negotiating with your first offer. Out of 12 under-contract homes at one point in time, the average days from list to contract was 17 days for 11 of the homes and the 12th home had been on the market for OVER a year. I had seen all of these homes and all of the other homes that weren't under contract. Houses sell because of fear of loss. If you like a home that was just listed, you are afraid everyone else is going to like it too. If you don't buy it now, it will be gone.

However, if you like a home that has been on the market for 90 days, you figure either, "I have time to decide" or "Why didn't anyone else buy it?"

Now, the really interesting part of my research. A dozen or so of SOLD homes throughout the spring and summer of 2007, that went under contract in less than 20 days, had been listed the year before. They started out at a price of $900k and had several price reductions. The final price before they took it off the market in the winter of 2006 was $799,900. When they relisted in 2007, the asking price was $849k-$879k. EVERY SINGLE ONE that sold, sold for MORE than the winter price of $799,900.

When you put your home back on the market in the spring, the comp will tell you what price to ask for your home. If you list it at the lower end of the comps, it might sell fast. If you list it at the higher end of the comps, you are waisting your time.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 21, 2007
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
Personally, I advocate that clients leave their homes on the market, as if you take it off now, and plan to re-list in the spring, you will only face a increase in inventory during the peak time and more competition for your home in the market. Who knows, it could sell before there's the traditional increase in inventory.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 21, 2007
It appears that you are currently listed with a real estate professional - I would talk with them directly about what is going on in your town. All real estate is local. There are very serious Buyers out there now but it does make a difference as to what you have it listed for. I do not advise having a ton of "negotiating room" in a price, it justs turns off Buyers from looking at your home. Here in Southern Maine I am already discussing the Spring market with Sellers starting in February. You cannot "refresh" a listing in Maine by just pulling it off for a day. I would "refresh" the photos to show snow.

Homes are selling every month and you could be best served by keeping it on. Days on market have increased - meaning it simply takes longer to sell a home.

Good luck in your move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 14, 2007
Salt Lake is right... price it right and negotiate tight is my modo. Buyers are smart... a buyer feels that a seller who wants to sell will price their home to sell. To buyers, an overpriced listing equals an unrealistic seller.

With that being said... I am not all that familiar with the Maine real estate market; however, your agent should be. I do agree with giving it a fresh listing number every 30 to 45 days for a boost through the internet. You can do that without taking it off the market for a long period of time... you can take it off and then place it right back on.

If you have a good relationship with your agent and trust their abilities then trust their recommendation. Homes are selling year round... competition is lower in the winter so your home could stand out better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2007
Hi Nadia,
This is definitely a discussion to have with your realtor. They know the area and market best. Since you have much later springs than we do, it makes sense that your spring real estate season is later than ours in NY. The "for sale signs" here pop up alongside the crocuses and snowdrops beginning in Feb & March.
Serious buyers are out looking in the winter months, these people are not simply browsing because there is nothing better to do. Also there tend to be fewer houses on the market now therefore there is limited competition, unlike in the spring when there will be many houses competing for buyers. In any case, your house should present itself as the best in its price range so that it stands out. You can do a lot of staging between now and then.
Keep warm and good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2007
You mentioned negotiating room. Do not list higher than necessary. The old let's list high and leave room for negotiating is so old school.……
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2007
Sorry - I should also add that I listed the house in early November, and I can't really afford to drop the asking price (and still have negotiating room). However, I'm not in a hurry to move - just ready for a larger house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2007
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