A listing can get “stale dated” if it sits on the market for longer than it takes (on average) for a house to sell in an area.
This year the median time on market for the Lower Sunshine Coast (Langdale to Egmont) has been 50 days.
By area median times are as follows:
• Gibsons – 45 days
• Roberts Creek – 55 days
• Sechelt – 50 days
• Halfmoon Bay – 56 days
• Pender Harbour – 56 days
The two main factors in how long a property stays on the market are its price and the amount of exposure it gets. If you overprice your property and it doesn’t sell it will become stale dated. If no one knows your property is for sale and it doesn’t sell it will become stale dated.
When a property becomes stale dated, it has a negative effect how potential buyers see it. One negative effect is that buyers will think there is something wrong with the property. A buyer that isn’t familiar with pricing in an area (such as a Vancouver buyer thinking of relocating to the Sunshine Coast) will not necessarily know that a property is over-priced. They will however assume that there is a reason it hasn’t sold and this will put them off requesting a viewing.
The best way to avoid a property becoming stale-dated is to price it sharply (avoid leaving too much “negotiating room” and make sure you work with a realtor that has a good system for marketing and gets it a lot of exposure.)
Another good idea is to keep your listing contracts to three or four months. When selecting a realtor, interview at least three as that should give you an accurate idea as to what the market value of your home is. Avoid the temptation of going with a high price for a long listing agreement as you will eventually have to drop the price and there is a cost associated with the resulting delay. Both financially and emotionally.
When a property expires (comes to the end of a listing contract) it needs to be re-listed. It is a bit more work and expense for the realtor but, when re-listed it appears as a new listing and gets more exposure than a listing that is just “sitting” on the market.
It is emailed to anyone who has been set up to receive them by their realtor, goes to the top of the search site’s “new listing” lists and has a much better chance of being seen by a new buyer starting their search than a listing that is “stale dated”.
When thinking of listing your property for sale and interviewing realtors, it is a good idea to keep this in mind and ask them how they avoid listings getting stale dated in a slow market.
Tony Browton is an award-winning Realtor who lives and works on BC’s Sunshine Coast.
His weekly blog can be found here http://www.truebluerealty.ca/blog