Expired listings are an unfortunate reality of the real estate industry. Thanks to a poor marketing strategy, an incompetent real estate agent, or a lack of interest from potential buyers, the listing expires before the property can be sold, and it gets taken off the market.
But as a real estate agent, you can profit from expired listings if you have the skill to sell the property when other agents fall short.
By following up on expired listing leads and using your marketing expertise and years of experience as a successful real estate agent, you can turn an expired real estate listing into a profit for yourself and a much-needed sale for the homeowner.
So, what is an expired listing, and how can you turn it into lucrative opportunities? Expert insights for real estate professionals at FlyerCo follow.
Read on below to find out!
What are Expired Listings?
Expired real estate listings are real estate listings for properties that were not sold within a certain time frame and had to be taken off the market.
Many agents fail to sell certain properties before the listing expiration date for a variety of reasons, leading to a surplus of these expired listings that other agents can then attempt to sell.
Real Estate Contracts Expire After an Agreed-Upon Period
Every listing contract with a multiple listing service, or MLS, contains an agreed-upon term for the amount of time the listing will remain visible to sellers on the real estate market.
For most promising listings, the home sells before the time period has gone by and everything goes according to plan. But if the expiration dates pass before the properties are sold, they get taken off the market and become expired listings.
Even the best real estate agents registered with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) end up having listings expire for one reason or another.
Why are Expired Listings Important?
Expired MLS listings are a huge asset to real estate agents due to the humbling effect they have on the sellers. A seller whose listing has expired will typically realize they need to lower the price or have more realistic expectations in order to sell their home.
Plus, they usually want to sell fast, and will thus be willing to compromise to make that happen.
Due to these changes in seller attitude, expired listings are usually easy for realtors to sell. Many realtors find that sellers with expired listings will convert to clients very quickly, sometimes on the first phone call, and they are usually eager to start working with a new agent.
Thanks to their newfound willingness to compromise, they tend to allow realtors to make the changes necessary to sell the property quickly and easily.
What Causes Expired Real Estate Listings?
There are a lot of reasons why a property might fail to sell before the predetermined expiration date in the listing agreement. Whether it’s a matter of an unrealistic asking price, mismanaged marketing efforts, or an unhealthy market, sometimes an agent just can’t find the right buyer in time.
Here are some of the most common reasons that listings expire.
1. Homes are Overpriced
Sellers always want to sell their homes for as much money as possible, but often that’s not realistic.
Despite protests from their real estate agents, they’ll insist on keeping the price exorbitantly high, certain a buyer will give them the amount they feel they deserve. But more often than not, buyers will be turned away by the high price, and the property will not be sold in time.
2. A Property Spends Too Long On the Market
The longer a property is left on the market without being sold, the worse the impression is for prospective buyers. The general assumption is that a really good property will be purchased quickly.
However, a house that has been on the market for longer than is reasonable must have something that is turning other buyers away.
3. The Realtor Doesn’t Know What They’re Doing
While you may be a successful realtor who knows their way around the real estate industry, other agents don’t always live up to these standards.
Sometimes, a poor choice of agent on the part of the seller can lead to the property being mismanaged, poorly marketed, and sitting on the market for an unreasonable amount of time without ever being sold.
4. Price Reductions
Another red flag for prospective home purchasers is when a property has had its price reduced time and time again. The constant price reductions signal to clients that something may be wrong with the home and that the seller is getting a little too desperate to get rid of the property.
It takes a skilled realtor to navigate pricing in a way that doesn’t scare off purchasers.
5. A Sloppy Marketing Strategy
Whether you’re selling a million-dollar home or a cheap pair of shoes, marketing is always the key to success when it comes to sales.
If your home isn’t being advertised through the right channels or painted in the right light by your realtor, it’s going to be more difficult to sell. Plenty of perfectly good homes end up with expired listings due to marketing mismanagement.
6. Low-Quality Photography
No one wants to buy a house that doesn’t show up well in photographs. If the photos used in the listing don’t make the property look nice, it’s unlikely that anyone will make an offer.
Expired Listing vs. Withdrawn Listing
Besides a home failing to sell before the deadline agreed upon between the seller and the listing agency, there are other reasons why a property might stop being listed on an MLS website, one of them being a withdrawn listing.
This means that even though the contract hasn’t expired yet, the seller has made a personal choice that they don’t want the listing to be viewed by prospective buyers anymore.
Expired Listing vs. Canceled Listing
Another reason why a listing may disappear from the search results of an MLS website without the contract having expired or the property having been voluntarily withdrawn by the owner is a canceled listing.
This means that, even though the time limit determined by the contract has not run out, the seller has chosen to end their relationship with the listing agency early and thus the MLS has had to remove the information about their property from their site.
How to Find Expired Listings
You may be wondering how to find expired listings if they’re no longer viewable on the real estate market. Even though they’re technically not on the market, you can still find these expired listings through a multiple listing service.
Use the expiration date filter to narrow down the results to only expired or soon-to-be expired listings, and follow up on the contact information from there.
But that’s not the only way to find expired listings. If you want homeowners with expired listings to come to you for help, you can advertise your services for selling homes with expired listings fast. For effective marketing, use a pre-designed flyer template from FlyerCo!
Expired Listings Script and Letters
Making phone calls and sending letters to homeowners with expired listings is a great way to target leads and start making new sales fast.
Many real estate agents have a habit of developing scripts and letter templates that can help streamline the process of reaching out to everyone in your contact list to try to find a new client.
An expired listing letter typically follows a formula in which the realtor introduces themselves to the homeowner, remarks that they’ve noticed the expired listing, and asks whether the client would be interested in working with them to get the property sold, concluding with contact information for follow-up.
Are You Allowed to Call Expired Listings?
It’s common for realtors to ask whether or not they’re allowed to call homeowners with regard to expired listings, since their properties are no longer on the market or under contract with a multiple listing service.
In fact, realtors are not only allowed to call homeowners about an expired real estate listing but the practice is even encouraged! This is a great way to quickly convert leads to clients.
Attract Promising Expired Listing Leads with FlyerCo!
Selling expired listings is a great way for real estate agents to make an easy profit. By designing an eye-catching and engaging flyer with FlyerCo, you can attract clients who have yet to sell their homes in the past and use your winning marketing strategy to get their homes sold fast.