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What To Do When Your House Is Not Sold

Many of our most popular blog posts have been started with questions asked by readers. Often times, consumers have a clarity of focus that allows the Tallahassee Real Estate Blog to write on issues that matter most, and I truly appreciate the questions and the feedback that are received here.

I received the following message from reader "RK" yesterday afternoon stating:

Hi Joe,

I have a house for sale in Tallahassee, listed with a local realtor since August 2008 and there had been no action whatsoever. I dropped the price twice and have heard nothing. I receive no information how the house is being marketed, if at all. Unfortunately I am locked in for a year contract, ending July. Any suggestion?

Obviously, RK is a frustrated homeowner who wants to sell a home in Tallahassee and needs some help, and his message contains some key points that I would like to address.

Do You Absolutely Have To Sell Your Home?

The first thing I noticed in RKs message was that his home had been on the market since August of 2008. By my quick wizardly mathematical skills, I surmised that the home has been "for sale" for at least 18 months! I have not ever met a homeowner who was serious about selling their home and also had a sales schedule of 2 years to get it done. It definitely should have been sold a long time ago!

My first advice, before even addressing the meat of the question is for RK to really decide if he wants to sell it. If the answer is "no," then ask the listing real estate company (see below for more detail) to remove it from the market. If the answer is "yes," then see below. Either way, it's time for RK to take some action and to go visit his real estate broker.

Demand Performance From Your Real Estate Broker

If RK signed a standard listing agreement with a REALTOR representing a broker in the Tallahassee Board of REALTORs, then the following paragraph is a part of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors Listing Agreement that he signed. It outlines the process and procedures for canceling a listing:

5. TERM OF AGREEMENT: SELLER hereby gives BROKER for a period of _______________ months, expiring ______________________ the exclusive right and authority to find a Buyer for the above described property. A) In the event the SELLER decides not to sell the property BROKER may agree to cancel this agreement. SELLER agrees to sign a Listing Agreement Cancellation, reimburse BROKER for all expenses incurred in marketing the Property and simultaneously pay the BROKER a cancellation fee of ____________________________. B) Broker may, at BROKER'S discretion, cancel this Agreement upon 15 days written notice to the SELLER.

The three blanks are the variables here, but the middle one is the key one for RK. Rather than look into how to cancel the agreement, I would recommend that he call the real estate office and ask to speak with the broker. I would encourage RK to schedule a time with the broker (owner) of the company in order for the broker to explain to RK what is being done to sell the home. The time for dealing with just the agent that he knows is over, he has to move up the chain of command. There is no reason that he doesn't go straight to the top after 18 months with that company.

I wrote a blog a while back detailing what home sellers should demand from their listing REALTOR. You can read it by following the link and it details what I feel are critical issues home sellers must understand. The key is to identify what will sell the home and why.

Additionally, I would make some demands of the broker. I would require the broker to demonstrate, through detailed analysis, the realistic sale-able value of the home. I would be most comfortable with a broker who has a keen grasp of current market conditions, as selling a home today is not as easy as it has been in the past.

Finally, I would require a presentation on the international marketing platform to sell a home in Tallahassee that is being utilized to expose the property to buyers world-wide. Even "little 'ol Tallahassee" sees international buyers as a steadily growing part of our housing market, and to eliminate them through a faulty marketing plan would certainly reduce activity (and thus reduce potential buyers) for the property.


*Joe Manausa Real Estate is a brokerage company headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida. Its unique business model provides specialists to both home sellers and home buyers, and the results speak for themselves. JMRE has significantly more 5-star reviews on google than any other local competitor. Joe Manausa Real Estate is a leader in internet marketing and utilizes search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and data analytics to get their clients’ home sold faster and for more money than any other Tallahassee brokerage firm. For more information, visit www.manausa.com or call us at (850) 366-8917.

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