I’m no real estate expert, but I’ve noticed a pattern play out a few times, once when I sold my first house and a few other times watching friends and family members sell their houses. In these cases, the real estate agent did almost nothing until the listing was getting close to running out. There were no reasonable offers until shortly before the listing contract ended when the house suddenly sold.
From a busy real estate agent’s point of view, this makes some sense. If you’ve got more houses listed than you can work on at one time, it makes sense to work hard on the listings you’re about to lose. If other listings happen to sell in the meantime, it’s a nice bonus.
If this phenomenon is as widespread as my limited experience suggests, then homeowner’s need to develop countermeasures. Homeowners should prefer shorter contracts to longer ones. I’m used to 3-month contracts, but I’ve heard of 6-month contracts. Even 3 months is a long time to wait if the real estate agent isn’t doing anything.
The next thing to consider is contract renewal. In my case, the real estate agent began hinting about renewing the contract a little less than 2 weeks from the end of the contract. I didn’t piece it all together at the time, but I now interpret this hinting as “will you re-sign with me so I can keep ignoring your house and hope it sells on its own, or do I have to try to find a buyer quickly?” Fortunately, my wife and I decided to tell the agent we would be changing agents; our house was sold within a week.
Have readers had any similar experiences or is my view skewed by some atypical cases?