Good topic, Ruth. I take 6 month listings. I commit fully to the time, energy and expense necessary to sell the home. I actually think it would be a disincentive to put a shorter fuse on it. I could see agents hedging and possibly not committing full resources or effort into a listing that they know they might lose in 1-2 months if the home has not sold despite their best efforts. I could certainly see a shorter list period in cases where limited service brokerages are utilized because the marketing and opportunity costs are nil. Other than such an instance, reducing the listing period is largely counterproductive. Many sellers expect agents to work harder if the listing has a shorter guaranteed shelf life, but this is not so. Human nature dictates that a great many will pull back to minimize their potential loss if the home does not sell. By reducing the listing term, might a seller be inadvertently signing up for more limited service? Would an agent just start signing up as many 60-90 day listings as possible, and expecting the mls to sell a certain percentage with minimal expense or effort?
I have had sellers ask what incentive I have to sell the home within 30 days if they are obligated for 6 months? That's an easy one. I don't get paid until I sell the home! I want to feed my baby boys this month! I would rather a seller take a longer time with the vetting process than using the listing term to determine if I am a skilled agent. If, after plenty of due dilligence, they decide that I am their guy, than I commit to them and they to me. I am not a mass lister, and typically carry 4-8 listings at any one time. Committing the resources I do to the relatively few listings that I carry, I simply cannot risk them lapsing any sooner.
If I were to ever consider a shorter period, however, you can be certain that it would be tied to my list price.