Sellers Are Pulling Their Homes Off the Market. Does That Mean You Should Too?

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  • The housing market has started to work against sellers as we close out 2022.
  • You might consider delisting your home if you're not getting offers or are reckoning with financial woes or winter weather.
  • But you might leave it up and just reduce the price instead, or rely more on your real estate agent's expertise.

Maybe, but it's important to consider all the angles.

After enjoying a marked advantage in the housing market since the home-buying frenzy of 2020 and 2021, sellers are finally starting to feel the pinch. Mortgage rates shot up in 2022, and elevated home prices are discouraging buyers (according to Redfin, the median U.S. home price in November 2022 was $393,977, an increase of 2.9% over the previous year). We started 2022 with the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sitting pretty at 3.22%, and as of this writing, that same mortgage has an average rate of 6.31%, per Freddie Mac. With figures like these, it's perhaps not so surprising that buyers are feeling a bit hesitant -- it's become a lot more expensive for them to take out a mortgage loan.

Recent data from Redfin shows that 1.9% of sellers have pulled their homes off the market during the 12-week period ending Nov. 27. This is further indication that sellers are being negatively impacted by the market shifts over the course of 2022. If you have your home listed and aren't seeing any traction on offers, should you delist as well? Let's discuss the pros and cons to help you decide.

The case for delisting your home

First and foremost, if you're not getting offers (or are getting lowball offers), you may need to make some changes. The most drastic of these would be taking your home off the market altogether. Is this a good idea, though? In addition to the tricky market, if you're trying to sell a home right now, you're also reckoning with the season.

Winter can be a difficult time to sell a home for a few reasons. Not a lot of buyers will be looking, as it's right in the middle of the school year and most people loathe disrupting their family life and kids' school schedules. Winter weather can also impact showings, and it can be hard to show your home in its best light if it's dark and cold outside.

You might also be dealing with some financial issues right now that could compel you to pull your home off the market. If you've lost your job (or seen your income decrease) and are currently living in a home you can afford, you may want to pull your listing and stay put for a while. Or if you know your home needs some repairs or remodeling, pulling it off the market could give you time to make those fixes before relisting it.

No offers or lowball offers, truly reckoning with the season, and financial issues might be good reasons to delist your home. Should you consider leaving it up, though?

The case for keeping your home listed

If you decide to leave your home on the market, but are still not seeing the kind of action you want, you might consider reducing your home's sale price. It pays to approach this with caution, however, as you'll lose your negotiating power and likely have to accept less than you want for the home. Plus, if buyers see "price reduced" on your listing, they will know they have the upper hand.

Another reason to keep your home on the market is if you've already had your real estate agent working overtime to sell it. If you're selling it yourself, it may not bother you to pull the listing, as you've been doing the marketing. But if you delist it after an agent has already put in a ton of work (and gotten you offers you turned down), you may be on the hook for paying them for their time -- possibly even the full 3% commission they would have received had it sold. Real estate agents can be your best friend when it comes to selling, and it might be worth asking yours to change tactics. Review your contract and consider whether it's worth having to pay them anyway if you delist.

What's the right call?

Ultimately, the decision to take your home off the market is going to be up to your personal situation. Consider the factors discussed above, and know that even if you decide to delist your home, this won't be your only opportunity to sell it. The market could improve for buyers in 2023, bringing them back to the table, especially if interest rates start to fall again. So don't lose hope.

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