Who lists property today?

Just got an MLS alert about a somewhat decent deal in Highland Park. Was considering whether it would work for any of my clients (probably not) when the thought hit me: What kind of an idiot lists a property today?

To understand why I think listing something today is so crazy, you need to understand something about how the marketing cycle for a property works. Generally:

  • Listing agent gets signed listing agreement, quickly shows deal to best clients and other agents in his office to try to keep both sides of the commission (buy and sell) in-house;
  • If no buyer emerges from that limited network, agent puts property on MLS;
  • When property first enters MLS, alerts go out to all agents / buyers who have saved searches set up for that type of property (same thing happens on Redfin, Zillow, etc.);
  • Hopefully, interested buyers get motivated and offers start coming in;
  • If not, the property sits there, with each day adding one to the “Days on Market” calendar on the MLS;
  • Once the DOM calendar reaches a few weeks without the property going “pending” (e.g. under contract), the property starts to look stale and sharks come in to try to low-ball the owner.

As you can see, that first day is incredibly important, because that’s when the alerts go out to the most relevant buyers. The more buyers who see the alerts, the higher the probability the seller will receive one or more acceptable offers.

So, again, I ask: What kind of an idiot puts something on the MLS on December 24, when few agents are at work reading alerts and few buyers are available to act on anything interesting?

I think the answer is: “An agent who doesn’t really give a shit whether the property sells”.