Expired, Canceled, Withdrawn Listings: What Happens If You Take Your Home off the Market?

Expired, canceled, and withdrawn listings are all frustrating situations for both home sellers and the Realtors they worked with. After considerable effort, and likely also significant cost. the property failed to sell (or it went pending, fell through, but did not re-sell). What happens next?

3 Minute Video Overview


What is the difference between expired, canceled and withdrawn listings?

Let us begin by discussing the difference between canceled, expired, and withdrawn listings and how each impacts your vulnerability to being swamped with messages from real estate agents.

On the multiple listing service, these are very distinct statuses.

MLS status for listings

  1. A withdrawn listing means that the property is still listed for sale with a real estate agent or broker but is no longer listed on the multiple listing service (MLS).  It’s still a valid listing and other agents should not approach you about working with them since you are still in a contract to sell your home with your current agent.
  2. An expired listing means that the contract for your listing has come to an end and the listing is no longer in place.  Other agents may approach you since there is no valid listing in place.
  3. A canceled listing is one in which the seller and agent or broker agree to terminate the listing. Since the listing has ended, other agents are free to contact you.

In a nutshell, if your Silicon Valley home’s listing becomes either canceled or expired, real estate sales people may contact you, but if it is merely withdrawn, they are not supposed to reach out to you because you still have a valid listing in place. (more…)

Why didn’t my San Jose home sell?

Why didn't my San Jose home sell.“Why didn’t my San Jose home sell?” or “Why didn’t my Silicon Valley home sell?” is being heard from frustrated sellers in Santa Clara County as the days on market rack up. They remember that just a few months ago virtually every home flew off the market.

If you’ve had your San Jose home listed for sale with a real estate professional but after a long while on the market it hasn’t sold, you are probably tired, discouraged, and maybe even angry. What went wrong?  Isn’t this still a hot seller’s market?

In brief:

  1. The peak of the hot seller’s market was in April – May 2022 for closed sales. Those homes were on the market in March or April. Spring is normally a better market than fall, but this year a lot changed to cause prices to fall since that peak.
  2. Affordability took a triple hit for buyers: home prices rose extremely fast, the Fed raised interest rates quickly and steeply (nearly doubling in 6 months), and the stock market tanked. Buyers’ budgets have shrunk and many of them decided to wait until conditions are more favorable.
  3. Buyers still looking are pickier than they were in Spring. Homes that aren’t perceived as the best value are getting passed over.
  4. Most of the time when homes don’t sell, it’s due to them being overpriced for the current market. Prices are down about 15% from earlier this year, perhaps more for homes in less desirable locations such as near high voltage power lines or on busy roads.
  5. We will consider options that sellers have to turn things around from “why didn’t my San Jose home sell” to “wow, that was a great response from home buyers!

Why didn’t my San Jose home sell? Pricing confusion is the most common culprit.

Neither the sellers nor their Realtors control the market, but it is imperative that we understand the market if your home is to be properly positioned for a sale. Your own area may not be reflective of the city of San Jose as a whole, but this should give you some ideas on how things are faring, and you can check the link below for your area, whether it’s Berryessa, west SJ / Campbell area, Almaden, downtown, etc.

Sellers are having some whiplash over the change in prices.

Average Sale Price for San Jose houses in August 2022


The importance of good photographs for listing exposure

Garage photoRecently I spent about an hour on the local multiple listing service, MLSListings.com, looking at expired or canceled listings.  Perhaps it shouldn’t have been surprising, but in many cases, the photography on the homes which failed to sell was simply ghastly.

Whether there’s a professional photographer or the real estate agent is shooting the photos himself or herself, though, you’d hope that they’d move the clutter, make sure that the seller isn’t in the picture, and that the lights are on.  Incredibly, that doesn’t always happen.  Not everyone is equally “visual”. So here are a few tips:

  • clear the driveway of garbage cans, cars, bikes, etc.
  • if the roof is covered with leaves or debris, have it cleared off
  • make sure all hoses are rolled up and there are no items which do not belong in the front yard
  • best if the exterior photos do not emphasize the garage in most cases
  • also best if the front door is visible from the main photo
  • if needed, trim bushes so that they do not obstruct windows prior to the photo shoot
  • make sure that the house is super clean
  • clear counters in kitchen and bathrooms of most everything but a tiny number of items
  • make sure that lights are on, curtains are opened, and photos taken in daytime
  • toilet lids should be closed
  • closet doors should be closed
  • beds ought to be made
  • clutter on dressers, desks, headboards, and any other surfaces should be put away for the photos

Remember, the first “open house” for a home is online, so it is extremely important that the photos make a great impression.  If buyers don’t like what they see online, they won’t bother to come see it in person.