Expired Listing: Can I Sell My House In SF Bay Area

Recent stats suggest that 40% of property listings usually expire without attracting any potential buyers. If you find yourself in this situation and are unsure about the next steps to take in selling your property, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

You can still sell your house even after your listing expires. However, if you decide not to stick with your previous listing agent, you’ll need to wait at least 90 days. This is because most contracts include a listing protection period, during which sellers are obligated to compensate the former broker with a commission if the property sells. It’s generally advisable to wait for this protection period to lapse, especially if you’re considering selling to a cash buyer.

Expired Listing Can I Sell My House In SF Bay Area

Selling after a listing expires may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite straightforward. We’ve outlined all the essential information about expired listings in this blog to help you jumpstart the process of selling your house again!

A real estate agreement or listing contract legally binds you as the seller to the real estate company or agent that would help you with the home sale.

According to The National Association of Realtors, there are three major types of listing agreements.

Common Types of Listing Agreements SF Bay Area

In this arrangement, any real estate agent can work to sell your property. Simply put, whoever brings in a buyer earns the commission. This agreement also permits you to find a buyer independently.

This is the typical agreement you’d start with as a new agent. With this, you give one agent permission to market and list your home exclusively in the multiple listing service. You won’t be teaming up with other agents, and you can’t sell your house yourself either.

Just like an Exclusive Rights to Sell Listing, this agreement ties you to one real estate agent or firm. But you can still hunt for a buyer on your own.

Lots of real estate firms don’t support Exclusive Agency Listing or Open Listing because they’d waste their efforts if you find a buyer while selling by yourself.


Here are some of the terms commonly stated in a real estate agreement:

  • How much commission you’ll pay your real estate agent
  • The agent’s right to sell depends on the type of listing agreement you agreed upon with the company
  • What will happen when the real estate agreement expires
  • The duties and activities that the real estate agent can do on your behalf
  • The details of dispute resolution
  • Representations that detail whether you have the right to sell the property
  • The safety clause for agent protection (listing protection period)
Terms of a Listing Agreement in SF Bay Area

The duration of a real estate listing deal hinges on the agent and seller’s choice. Typically, agents employ standard contracts lasting four to six months.

The seller can ask for a shorter or longer period, subject to mutual agreement. However, once the contract is signed, altering its duration entails costly consequences unless the seller agrees to pay.

Listing contracts that reach the end of their term may have been infrequent during the COVID-19 period. However, as interest rates climb, expired listings will become more prevalent. At that point, the real estate agent is no longer under legal obligation to sell your property.

Before you relist your home or consider selling to a cash buyer, it’s crucial to grasp some key factors that may have led to an unsuccessful home sale initially.

Reasons Why a Real Estate Listing Expires in SF Bay Area

Note: Expired listings should not be confused with withdrawn listings. Withdrawn listings occur when a seller opts not to proceed with selling their property.

Realtors skilled in selling homes understand the crucial role pricing plays in a successful sale.

Yet, if you’re dealing with a novice agent unfamiliar with market analysis or unaware of current market trends, they might overprice your house, deterring potential buyers.

Alternatively, you might have ignored your agent’s pricing advice and insisted on listing above market value.

Many potential buyers use online tools to find properties they can purchase. If your real estate agent used blurry phone camera photos for the listing, expect that your home won’t get much attention.

This is also the case if you do not stage your house well. All the ugly parts of the property will easily reflect in the photos, no matter how you try to hide them. 

Poor Communication Between the Seller and the Real Estate Agent

If you’re not in touch with your real estate agent, you might miss important details for selling your home. 

For example, if buyers mention they care about the countertops, your agent should update the listing to highlight them.

Some agents delay sharing buyer offers to try for better ones, but this waiting game can cause listings to expire.

Poor Communication Between the Seller and the Real Estate Agent in SF Bay Area

Lack of communication is a major cause of withdrawn listings.

Sometimes, no matter how great your real estate agent is, some factors beyond your control can affect the home sale. Here are some of them:

  • The property is far from restaurants or malls
  • There is no parking space
  • There is no natural light
  • The property is situated in a flood zone
  • Someone died on the premises
  • The neighbor or the whole neighborhood is noisy
  • The house is located in a busy area

Usually, a property owner can privately sell a home or engage a fresh agent 90 days post the expiration of the real estate listing agreement. This is to avoid paying commission to the former agent.

Real estate listing agreements usually include a safety clause protecting the agent from the seller. Specifically, if the buyer opts to terminate the listing agreement or sells promptly post-expiration, they will owe the former agent a commission for a specified “tail period” as outlined in the safeguard clause.

It’s possible that the real estate agent’s endeavors lead to a sale beyond the listing period. If their marketing strategies were utilized, compensation should ensue (whether post a withdrawn or expired listing).

How Long After a Real Estate Contract Expires Can an Owner Sell Privately in SF Bay Area

Generally, safeguard clauses in most listing protection agreements span 90 days, although some brokers and agents may offer shorter tail periods.


You can sell your house even if the real estate listing agreement expires. There are three main routes you can take…

Options When a Real Estate Agreement Expires in SF Bay Area

Starting the process of selling your home all over again and examining a new listing agreement can be quite exhausting and frustrating. Fortunately, you have the option to sell your home to an all-cash buyer.

The best thing about cash buyers is that they can wait for the tail period to end, unlike many retail buyers who want to move into new houses fast. Additionally, if your previous listing expired due to significant property damages, there is still hope for selling when you receive a cash offer since cash buyers buy properties in their current condition.

You won’t need to worry about covering closing costs or commissions, potentially resulting in a higher net profit from the sale.

The process of selling your home to a cash buyer is relatively straightforward. You can request a cash offer by completing a form on the cash buyer’s website or by contacting them directly. They may then schedule a property visit to assess the property and provide a more accurate offer.

Once they’ve presented you with a cash offer and you’ve accepted it, they will send you a contract via email. Naturally, you’ll need to review and sign the contract to proceed with closing the sale. After the closing, you’ll receive your funds in your bank account, and the ownership of the property will be transferred to the cash buyer.


Sign With a New Real Estate Agent

If you have the energy and patience to restart the home selling process again, you have the liberty to do so. However, it may not be wise to sell your home with the help of your current agent if you do not feel confident about how they handled your listing.

Here are some specific signs that you should find other agents:

  • Your real estate agent wasn’t proactive before.
  • They didn’t communicate clearly with you.
  • They didn’t give you any advice on improving the curb appeal of your home.
  • They didn’t tell you the importance of professional photography in a listing.
  • They failed to handle the pressure of selling a house.
  • They didn’t have your best interests in mind.
  • They did some unethical acts.
  • They did not meet expectations during negotiations.
Sign With a New Real Estate Agent in SF Bay Area

Sign a new agreement with a real estate agent who has proven experience in selling houses in your area. Make sure to do background research and search for client reviews before agreeing to a new listing agreement.

You may be bombarded by phone calls from other agents when your listing expires, so you should be cautious about whom to trust when you sell your home again.

Expired Listing: Can I Sell My House In SF Bay Area?

Recent stats suggest that 40% of property listings usually expire without attracting any potential buyers. If you find yourself in this situation and are unsure about the next steps to take in selling your property, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

You can still sell your house even after your listing expires. However, if you decide not to stick with your previous listing agent, you’ll need to wait at least 90 days. This is because most contracts include a listing protection period, during which sellers are obligated to compensate the former broker with a commission if the property sells. It’s generally advisable to wait for this protection period to lapse, especially if you’re considering selling to a cash buyer.

Expired Listing Can I Sell My House In SF Bay Area

Selling after a listing expires may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite straightforward. We’ve outlined all the essential information about expired listings in this blog to help you jumpstart the process of selling your house again!

You need to be patient if your house doesn’t sell after the listing ends. Many agreements have a clause that says you have to pay the agent even after the listing ends.

If you’re tired of waiting for regular buyers, consider getting a cash offer!

At We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area, we’re patient and won’t charge extra fees. You get our full offer straight to your bank account.

When you’re ready to sell after the listing ends, fill out our form or call us at (408) 557-7554

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The Easiest Way To Sell Your House Fast In SF Bay Area

You’re in the driver’s seat when you accept our cash offer for your house. We make the process simple, fast, and easy to follow when working with us. You have no obligation to accept our cash offer for your home when contacting us for a fair cash offer for your home. No matter the reason you want to sell your house, we want to buy your home as is. Remember that you get many benefits that include no real estate agent commissions, no cleaning, no improvements, and no stress. Our cash offer for your as-is house assures you of fast cash payment at closing with a reputable Title company. You can count on our company to give you a fair cash offer for your home! If you’re still thinking, “I need to sell my house fast”, calling us could be your best decision all day. 🙂

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Gagan Saini

Author: Saini

My name is Saini, and I founded the We Buy Houses in SF Bay Area team with years of experience in the real estate industry. I have assisted numerous sellers in selling their homes quickly, “AS-IS”, and for a fair price.

He’s been featured in multiple publications including Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, LegalZoom, The Mortgage Report, Apartment Therapy, US News and World Report, and SuperMoney among others.

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