What You Need to Know If You Want To Take Your House Off the Market

Taking your house off the market can be influenced by many reasons. Whether it’s a change in personal circumstances, the realization that the current housing market isn’t favorable, or simply a change of heart, it’s essential to be informed. 

Before making a move, consider the implications, consult with real estate professionals, and understand the current dynamics of the real estate market.

Can You Take Your House off the Market?

Yes, homeowners can take their house off the market, but the process varies depending on the agreement made with your realtor or real estate agent. 

If you’ve listed your property through a brokerage or on platforms like Zillow or Realtor.com, there might be specific protocols to follow. Typically, the house gets labeled as ‘withdrawn’ or ‘temporarily off-market’ on the multiple listing service (MLS).

However, if you’re a “for sale by owner” (FSBO) seller, the process becomes more straightforward. You’d need to remove your listing from wherever you’ve posted it. 

Remember that if you’ve entered into a listing agreement with a real estate agent, there could be contractual obligations and potential fees to consider. You might have to negotiate with your listing agent or wait until the agreement expires to take your home off-market without penalties.

Is Now a Good Time to Take Your House Off the Market?

Deciding whether now is the right time to delist your property often depends on understanding the current dynamics of the housing market. Are you in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?

In a seller’s market, home prices tend to rise, and there’s a high demand from potential buyers. 

If you’re considering taking your home off in such a market, it might be worth re-evaluating unless you have personal reasons. 

Conversely, in a buyer’s market, there’s more supply than demand. Prices may be stagnant or declining, and houses could stay listed longer. This might be a reasonable time to consider taking your house off-market, perhaps to relist it later or renovate it before relisting.

Moreover, consider the feedback received from prospective buyers. Even though you can sell a house in probate, this might be a reason why it’s stagnating.

If your home isn’t moving due to issues like the asking price, consider adjusting the list price or making minor improvements before going off-market. It might make more sense to renovate key areas of the house with a home inspection checklist for sellers and then reintroduce it as a new listing.

Regions also play a role. The real estate market trends in California might differ from New York or Florida. Platforms like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com offer insights into local market conditions.

In summary, taking your house off the market is a significant decision. Ensure you’re informed, consult real estate professionals, and understand your local market dynamics before choosing.

Reasons Why You’d Take Your House Off the Market

When homeowners list their property on the market, they hope for a smooth selling process. However, various factors can complicate this journey. Let’s explore some common reasons a homeowner might take their property off the market.

Poor Real Estate Agent Relationship

Homeowners must have a harmonious relationship with their realtor or real estate agent. This professional will be their guide, negotiator, and point of contact throughout the selling process. If there’s a lack of trust or communication issues, it can hinder the process.

For example, the agent might need to be more proactive in marketing the property, or there could be disagreements over the listing price. Perhaps the homeowner feels their concerns need to be addressed or the agent needs to represent their best interests. 

In such cases, taking the property off the market can provide an opportunity to either mend the relationship or find a new agent more aligned with their needs.

Your Listing is Going Stale

In the real estate market, time can sometimes be an enemy. If a property remains listed for an extended period without significant interest, it can be perceived as “stale.” Potential buyers may wonder if there’s an underlying issue with the home, even if that’s not the case.

To counteract this, homeowners might pull the listing and reintroduce it later, with fresh photos, a different price, or a new marketing strategy. This can rejuvenate interest and give the impression of a fresh, new listing.

You Are Getting Low Offers

Homeowners naturally want the best possible return on their investment. If the offers coming in are consistently below the asking or list price, it can be disheartening. This could be due to overpriced houses, or perhaps the housing market is leaning toward buyers.

By taking the house off the market for a while, sellers can wait for more favorable market conditions or reassess their asking price in alignment with a more accurate home value or market value assessment.

You Need to Make a Big Repair

Discovering a major issue with the property can be a game-changer. It could be foundational problems revealed during a home inspection or an unforeseen issue like a damaged roof. Such significant problems can deter potential buyers.

Homeowners may take their property off the market to address and fix these issues. This not only ensures that they can present the best version of their home but also avoids potential complications during future negotiations or inspections.

You Want to Increase the Value

Sometimes, a decision to delist can be strategic. Homeowners might realize that with certain renovations or upgrades, they could significantly increase the property’s value. Whether updating a dated kitchen, adding a bathroom, or enhancing the curb appeal, these changes can boost the sale price.

For example, in regions like California, New York, or Florida, where the real estate market can be competitive, even minor upgrades can significantly impact the home’s desirability. By taking the time to enhance the property, homeowners can reap greater financial rewards when they decide to relist.

Can You Take Your House Off The Market?

Fees When Pulling a Listing Off the Market

Putting your home on the real estate market is more than just listing and waiting for the offers to roll in. Behind the scenes, there’s a myriad of financial considerations. One aspect homeowners might need to consider is the potential costs involved when deciding to pull their house off the market.

Often, homeowners believe that if they decide to take their listing down, they can do so without incurring any fees. However, that’s only sometimes the case. Depending on the listing agreement signed with your realtor or brokerage, there might be penalties or costs associated with ending the agreement prematurely. Here’s what you might expect:

  • Early Termination Fee: Some realtors might include a clause in their listing agreement that requires payment if the homeowner decides to pull the listing before the agreement’s expiration. This compensates the agent for the time, effort, and resources they’ve already invested.
  • Marketing Costs: Your realtor might have incurred various marketing expenses, from professional photographs to listings on platforms like Zillow, Trulia, or realtor.com. If the agreement stipulates it, you might be responsible for covering these costs if the property is delisted early.
  • Full Commission: In rare cases, the listing agreement might state that the homeowner owes the full commission to the agent, even if the property doesn’t sell. This is less common, but it’s crucial to be aware of such clauses.

It’s essential to carefully review any agreement with your real estate agent or brokerage. Understand the terms, ask questions, and consider seeking legal counsel if you need clarification on any clauses.

Are You Able to Sell Your Home Off Market?

Selling off-market, often called a “pocket listing,” means selling your home without publicly advertising it on the multiple listing service (MLS) or other common platforms. But is it a viable option?

Yes, homeowners can indeed sell their homes off-market. While this method is less conventional, it offers specific advantages:

  • Privacy: For homeowners who value discretion, selling off-market ensures that only a select group of potential buyers and real estate professionals know about the sale.
  • Control: Without the pressure of the public eye, homeowners have more control over the selling process, showings, and negotiations.
  • Targeted Buyers: By working closely with a real estate professional, homeowners can tap into a network of buyers who might be specifically looking for properties like theirs.
  • Avoiding Market Staleness: If a homeowner had previously listed their property and it didn’t sell, moving to an off-market sale can avoid the stigma of a stale listing.

However, selling off-market also has its challenges. The most significant disadvantage is the reduced marketing exposure, potentially resulting in a lower sale price. The seller might not attract a bidding war, which often drives up the home’s price in a seller’s market.


Deciding whether to take your house off the market, whether temporarily or to pursue an off-market sale, is a significant decision. It’s crucial to weigh the potential costs, benefits, and challenges. Always keep your goals in perspective and make decisions that align with your financial and personal objectives. 

Consulting with experienced real estate professionals and understanding your contractual obligations can guide you through these choices.

Remember, each homeowner’s journey is unique, and with the right information and support, you can navigate the complexities of the real estate market with confidence.

At Leave The Key Homebuyers, we offer various resources to guide homeowners through unique selling scenarios. If you’re pondering over whether we buy houses in Brooklyn or if we buy houses in Long Island, don’t hesitate to give us a call. 

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Can You Take Your House Off The Market?