The Pros and Cons of Taking Your Home Off the Market

The Pros and Cons of Taking Your Home Off the Market

  • Chris Fry
  • 04/6/22
There are many reasons why sellers may want to take their homes off the market after putting them up for sale: a job relocation fell through, a home inspection went terribly wrong, or family members suddenly need to move back in.
Whatever the reason, personal or professional, it’s important to know that taking your home off the market has both advantages and drawbacks. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each.

The Pros of Off-Market Listings

An off-market listing is a home that’s available to purchase but isn’t advertised on multiple listing services, such as the MLS or Streeteasy. Also known as a “pocket listing,” this low-key selling approach may appeal to homeowners who wish to maintain more privacy during the sale process and who aren’t in a rush to sell.
Here are the pros:

1) Enhanced privacy

To attract potential buyers, real estate agents who represent off-market listings will share the home’s for-sale status within their social and professional circles. This way, sellers may be spared from having their addresses and purchase history shared widely online, eliminating a barrage of strangers who may come knocking on the door or calling on the phone.

2) Market testing

A pocket listing can be a great way to test the real estate waters and see how much buyers are willing to pay for your home. If you determine that your home’s list price is too high or too low, you can adjust it accordingly to better reflect its value and make sure that it’s priced right before it goes live on the MLS.

3) Flexible timing

If you’re not in a rush to sell, an off-market listing might be the ideal solution for you. Having a flexible timeline means that you can wait out market trends, get your home in perfect shape at your own pace, and negotiate with potential buyers without feeling pressured to act fast.

The Cons of Off-Market Listings

Consider the following drawbacks before taking your home off the market if it has been listed on the MLS:

1) Fees

If you signed an Exclusive Agreement to Sell with a real estate agency, canceling the agreement may result in a fee, though some agencies will release you of contractual obligations if you provide them with a valid reason.

2) Longer timeline to sell

Off-market listings can take longer to sell because they reduce a home’s exposure to potential buyers. On a different note, if your online listing has gone “stale” by sitting on the market for more than 30–60 days (which might be a red flag for some buyers), you may be tempted to reset the days-on-market count by taking it off the market and relisting it soon after. Keep in mind, however, that most real estate websites, including Streeteasy and Zillow, require a waiting period of 90 days before you are allowed to relist your home. (An exception can be made if you decide to relist it with a different agency, so be sure to check your local listing rules.)

3) No “highest and best” offers

Because off-market listings fly under the radar, they likely won’t attract multiple offers at once. By contrast, a listing that boasts maximum online exposure may garner multiple bids from serious buyers, especially if market conditions favor sellers and if the listing is just coming off a successful open house. This can lead to a bidding war in which the seller’s agent may respond to each offer by requesting the “highest and best,” in some cases scoring an offer above the list price.

Let’s Recap

While today’s advanced online marketing tools can help you cast a wider net to find the ideal buyer for your home, this isn’t the only way to go. For some sellers, an off-market listing eliminates fanfare from buyers and increases privacy, offering peace of mind to those who aren’t in a rush to sell.
On the other hand, working with an experienced real estate advisor who can list your home for maximum exposure may result in a faster sale and a better offer.
Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific situation, and the only way to arrive at that is through close comparison and careful consideration. If you’re looking for some guidance on going off-market, check out Elegran’s Agent Page to find the best real estate advisor for your needs.

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Chris Fry is here to help you throughout the New York City home buying process. This team has a dynamic combination of unrivaled sales skills, many years of experience, and the ability to form lasting relationships with clients. It would be a privilege to work together in buying, selling, renting, or investing in properties both on- and off-market throughout New York City.

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