What if there are no offers? Should I time my listing around the holidays?


Dear David: Our house has been on the market for a few days. Offers are set for the end of the week. We’ve only had two showings so far. What if we don’t get any offers on offer day? – FEELING EDGY

DEAR EDGY: Given the lackluster response to your listing so far, I think your agent may be as nervous as you are. When a listing underperforms in an otherwise hot market, price is often the culprit.  In your case, the conspicuous lack of traffic would lead me to believe that price may be at least part of the problem.

These days, most homes are listed below their expected selling price. The strategy is intentional and designed to attract buyer attention. Because this practice is so common, most buyers have come to expect that there will be a gap between the list price and the selling price of a home. They account for it in their budget. If you list a home at the expected selling price and don’t build in a gap, buyers may assume you want too much and move on with their search.


Even when the price is right, sometimes the planets don’t align, and the ideal buyer doesn’t come along right away. When this happens, delaying your offer date by three or four days can sometimes be enough to solve the problem. An experienced agent will always have a Plan B (and possibly even a Plan C) in place to navigate these situations.

Dear David: I’m thinking about putting my house on the market later this fall. Does the holiday season have any effect on when I should list? – LOOKING AHEAD

After 35 years in the business world, I’ve noticed how easy it is for consumers to get distracted. In the service industry, traffic patterns are easily skewed by a long weekend or a holiday. Even an election is enough to throw things off.

In our region (Kitchener-Waterloo), Oktoberfest is a prime example of an event that tends to monopolize people’s attention. As the kegs start flowing in restaurants and fest halls, people are either eager to get out and polka, or happy to hunker down until the excitement blows over. Either way, they’re probably spending less time looking at houses.

Timing the launch of your listing around obvious distractions can make for a more successful buildup to offer day. When a long weekend hits, people are focused on family gatherings, cottage trips and turkey dinners. Strategically, you’ll probably have an easier time holding their attention once the holiday has passed.


Houses sell every single day of the year, except perhaps Christmas and New Year’s. That said, if you can sidestep obvious obstacles in order to improve your results, you might as well do so. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator