It might feel like a question more suited to a Facebook Marketplace enquiry (“if the ad is still online, its still for sale!”) than a real estate one but it is becoming a regular catch cry among buyers in this market.
I’ve lost track of the number of times a buyer has called or emailed prior to an open home to make sure that there is in fact an open home still scheduled, or to ask how many offers have been submitted on a home before they throw their own hats in the ring – they are just becoming that used to chasing a dream that someone else has already caught.
As simple as it seems, its not always that straightforward in practice and the delay in advertising to “under contract” will quite often be an effort to hedge a seller’s risk while waiting for a contract to go unconditional (or at least for the deposit to become cleared funds).
Whether it’s a last-minute change of mind (“we decided we don’t really want a Queenslander”), an unsatisfactory building and pest inspection or a buyer having a tough time on finance, there are plenty of reasons for even a solid-seeming contract to not follow through.
While it can be satisfying to have a contract signed within 48 hours (or less), given that properties are at their peak from an enquiry perspective in their first week, taking a property out of the marketplace in that timeframe then runs the risk of it becoming stagnant later. Worst case scenario – property goes under contract, other prospective buyers dismiss the property as its marked as such and look elsewhere. Buyer buys something else, contract falls over and seller left with no other options.
For those other buyers unfortunately, it might mean a lot of extra looking and hoping for properties that are not in effect still available. Wasting time and energy, and adding to the frustration.
So what’s the solution? It might be as simple as putting it in the ad itself – “under contract, but enquire to be kept up to date”- letting a buyer make the call on the situation. All I can say is that as a buyer in this market, make sure you ARE reaching out as best you can – I’ve seen some real stepping up in the industry in this market and some of the best opportunities will depend more on the individual agent than Google.