When Refusing a Listing May Be Best

August 29, 2018
Real estate agent on phone refusing a listing

A crucial part of the job for any sales agent is prospecting and securing listings.

When you work on commission, it is in your personal interest to secure listings and it is equally necessary for your professional reputation.

But there may be a time however, when accepting a listing may not be in your best interest.

As such, here are seven times when refusing a listing may be the best course of auction.

Overpriced listings 

It’s natural that sellers want the best possible price for their property, but you may want to avoid taking on a listing where the property is overpriced and the owner will not budge.

In many cases, you can reason with the owner but if they won’t budge and you know it won’t sell at such an unrealistic price, you may be best to refuse the listing all together.

Unrealistic expectations

Alongside budget expectations, the seller may have unrealistic expectations that make a sale near impossible.

This may be in terms of how quickly they want the property to sell, the amount of marketing required, or they may have a very specific buyer in mind.

If the seller has unrealistic expectations on various elements of the sale (and won’t budge on them), it may be a good one to avoid if you know it’s going to make a sale hard or impossible.

Difficult and uncooperative sellers 

Difficult couple selling their home

Following on from this, you may come across sellers who present as difficult in some way.

They may be rude, offensive, refuse to take your advice or suggestions, think that they’re the expert and know more than you, or are just unwilling to cooperate with you in any way on the sale.

While we’re not suggesting you refuse to work with anyone who may seem a bit rude or short in dealings, you should reconsider the listing if you believe their behaviour might actually hinder the sale or the campaign.

The property is in an extremely poor condition 

House for sale with bad fire damage

This one is certainly not a blanket rule; it’s really market dependant.

We’ve all seen photos of the dilapidated, abandoned houses in popular locations that sell for millions. But in other, weaker markets, a property in poor repair may not be worth your time.

As the agent, you should have the local knowledge to assess what level of disrepair will be acceptable in the market you’re selling in.

The property is unsafe 

If they property is structurally unsafe, it may be best to refuse the listing.

This could put you and potential buyers in an unsafe situation and potentially bring with it legal ramifications if something was to happen.

If you know it is not going to sell 

This could be for any of the above reasons or something more individual to a particular property or market.

If you know that a property is not going to sell, why waste your time, energy, resources and money on it in the first place?

In such a case you may be better turning your attention to a listing that you know you can sell.

You already have too many listings 

This is not a bad situation to be in. While as an agent you want to take on any good listings that come your way, there may be times when you simply have to turn a good listing down because your books are already full.

In such cases, you’re better putting your time and resources into doing a great job for your current listings, not stretching yourself so thin that you only get a sub-par result for a greater number of listings.

While it may seem irrational to turn away sellers and a good listing, it shouldn’t hurt your reputation if you handle it well. After all, you must be good if so many other sellers have entrusted you to sell their properties.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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