The Difference Between an Expired Listing and a Withdrawn Listing

by Nov 6, 2017

As a seller you need to know what the different types of listings are and what it means for your house. The different listing statuses indicate a message to potential buyers. The difference between a withdrawn listing and an expired listing all boils down to the contract that you have with your listing agent.

Understanding a listing contract

When you work with a real estate agent to sell your house, you sign a listing contract with that agent. The agent agrees to list your house on the MLS, market it, and oversee the sales process. In exchange for their work, you agree to keep the house listed with them for a set amount of time. This is typically 6 months or 12 months.

Expired listing vs. withdrawn listing

As the seller, if you decide to withdraw your listing, you are simply taking your listing off the market. It will no longer be listed on the MLS for buyer’s agents to find and inquire about. While you can withdraw your listing, it does not withdraw your contract with your listing agent.

While your listing is withdrawn, you are unable to work with another real estate agent and you are unable to sell your house directly, cutting your real estate agent out of the deal. This would breach the terms of the listing contract.

There are many reasons that sellers need to withdraw their listing. It could be due to repairs that need to be made to the house prior to selling, or a change in heart and the seller deciding not to sell the house at all.

On the other hand, an expired listing is one where the house has not sold by the end of the original contract with the listing agent. When this happens, the seller has the option to resign with the agent or to find a new agent to sign with. All of these changes have to be done in writing. Agent contracts do not auto-renewal like many other contracts in the world.

The one exception to this rule is if the contract expires while the house is under contract with a potential buyer. In this situation, the seller is required to finish working with the real estate agent as they close the deal.

Should you stay or switch

If you have been working with a real estate agent and your listing has expired, you need to think carefully before deciding to resign with the same agent. Look at the facts and ask yourself if your agent is part of the reason your house is still on the market. Is the house priced accurately? Are they marketing the house? If showings are happening and you aren’t receiving any offers, it is a good indication that the house is overpriced.

Talk to your agent and talk to a few other agents before making your decision. If getting your house sold is a top priority, you need to find an agent that feels the same way.

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