Why Did Your Home's Listing Expire??

expired listing
When you hired your realtor to sell your home, you agreed to a certain time frame to get the job done.  For most sellers in the Chicago area, that period was 6 months to a year.  For many sellers, their home was not sold in that time.
There are several elements to the successful marketing of your home:

  1. Pricing
  2. Condition of the Home
  3. Marketing

Home listings often expire because they are priced higher than current market value.   Market value is determined by the recent sales prices of comparable homes in the same neighborhood.  Comparable homes are similar in architectural style, square footage, room count and condition. A home that has a dated décor or lots of repair and  maintenance issues should not expect to have same price as home that is newer with high end finishes.
It can be quite disturbing to a homeowner to find out how much the market has declined in recent years.  Prices have increased in the last couple of years but not back to the level of the real estate bubble of a few years ago. For many homeowners, their pricing decision is based more on their mortgage balance rather than market value. For other homeowners, they were planning for more money from the sale of their home than the market will allow. An overpriced home will end up having to take price reductions to get down to market value. And generally, a home that is initially overpriced will often sell for less than it would have if priced appropriately at the beginning. This is partially because the market loses interest in a home the longer it is on the market.

Condition of the Home

One consequence of lower home values is that many sellers are unwilling to make a lot of repairs or updates in order to sell their home.  However, a home with a lot of repairs needed (even if minor) ugly hometurns off sellers. The few dollars spent on fixing a leaky faucet, repairing the hole in the wall, painting over that ugly dark blue color or getting the carpets professionally cleaned can make a big difference.  Cluttered or unclean homes also turn off buyers.  As said on so many HGTV shows, buyers want to be able to see themselves living in your home.  In addition, make sure the curb appeal of your home has not turned off potential buyers before they can see how nice the interior of your home is.
If the price of your home does not match the condition of your home in the eyes of buyers, they will either wait to see if you reduce your price or move on to the next.  And the longer your home sits on the market, the more you will have to compete on price.


Many agents put only a minimum amount of effort into the marketing of their home listings. The first step is putting the home in MLS.  However, many agents have only one exterior picture or a lack of descriptive remarks. Fairly or not, many buyers will assume that the lack of pictures indicate a problem with the home.  Sometimes the interior pictures taken don’t show the home at its best. Were there dishes in the sink and clutter that overshadowed your extensive counter space and maple cabinets in your kitchen?  Before your listing was posted to the MLS, were you given the opportunity to review the pictures with the agent to make sure they told a good story about what your home has to offer?
Sometimes a home takes little effort to get an offer.  Sometimes though a more aggressive marketing effort is needed.  Outside of the MLS, what were the other efforts taken to market your home?
If your home has expired or you are looking to put your home on the market for the first time, please give me a call to schedule a listing consultation.  We can sit down and discuss what it will take to get your home sold.  Our local market currently favors sellers with fewer homes on the market.  Homes are being sold.  Yours should be one of them.

Millie C. Lumpkin, Broker