What’s a ‘Stale Listing’?

stale listing
Have you ever driven by a house that seems like it’s been for sale forever? Sometimes listings remain on market for an unusually long period of time and get branded as ‘stale’.

A stale listing is essentially a home that has been for sale longer than the usual typical time on local market. Several factors can cause a listing to become stale, but quite often a stale listing is the result of a property coming on market priced to high in comparison to similar sales in the immediate marketplace.

Beyond pricing, here are a few other reasons a listing can become stale:

  • An initial Agreement of Purchase and Sale falls apart – It’s good practice not to put the ‘SOLD’ sticker on a sign until all conditions of an agreement have been met and the transaction is on its way to the Lawyers for closing. Between this time period several things can happen to stop the sale. Disagreement on a price adjustment after a poor inspection, Buyer financing falls apart or an unfavorable review of a condo status certificate by the Buyer’s Lawyer are just a few examples of incidents that could break an initial agreement.
  • General Condition of the House – It’s crucial that homeowners in the midst of selling their home take the extra steps to keep the home ‘show ready’. An unkempt garden, a driveway not shoveled or too much clutter that distracts key features of the home are examples that feel small, but have the ability to throw off potential Buyers viewing your property.
  • Updated Marketing – Experienced REALTORS® understand the value of keeping the marketing of each listing current and up-to-date. For example, expect your REALTOR® to change exterior photos if the house was photographed on a snowy day in March and it’s early May and the beautiful landscaping the property has to offer is beginning to show.
No one wants a listing to go stale. A stale listing does a disservice to the Seller, the listing REALTOR®, neighbours and the local real estate market. As always, good communication between a REALTOR® and their Seller client from the initial listing agreement to closing date is the best approach to avoid a listing earning a stale reputation.