Expired Listings Windows of Opportunity

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Caruthurs


Are you working expireds?  If not, what is stopping you?

When I started in real estate (which wasn't all that long ago), I was told not to waste my time with expireds.  Usually, if they didn't sell, something was wrong with them.  I was told to ask myself, "Why are they expired?  Why didn't they sell", and I was told that they were probably more trouble than they were worth even if you could find the owners and get them to agree to let you re-list it.

Some agents I've talked to have told me that expired listings are a harder "sell" because they have either lost confidence in agents, or they haven't been expired that long and want to give their agents a chance to "remember" them.

Call me a glutton for punishment, but I have found expired listings to be a source of excellent leads.  I have yet to have a bad experience with an attempt to approach an owner of an expired listing home. 

That's not to say that I haven't fielded a few "I'm happy with my agent" comments and "no, I think I'll wait this one out" replies.  But I have also found expired listings to be the most targeted, warmest market you will have.

 - They have already had their home on the market.

 - Chances are they were not impressed with their previous agent (it hasn't sold)

 - If price was a factor, they may be willing to listen to reality and agree to a price adjustment

 - You never know . . . they may REALLY be motivated to sell by the time you approach them.

"But what do I do when a customer gets mad and says he's been contacted by four agents already?"

 - You tell him, "Hi!  glad to meet you!  I'm number five!" and offer your hand.

Be prepared when you approach expired listings.  Make sure they are expired.  Check their tax records as well, and make sure they are not a short sale.  They could be in the process of settlement and are just waiting on the bank when the listing expired.

In a market like this one, expired listings have become more popular where before they seemed taboo.  No one wanted to touch them.  There was too much other business out there.

I would like to know who is working expired listings and what your experience has been with them.


Bonnie Cox

Comments (4)

Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


Expireds are great opportunities. (In fact, if a not-yet-listed seller is way overpriced, I decline & figure I'll get in on the rebound.)  That said, I never call them just when it expires - they get swamped. I'll wait several weeks, verify they haven't relisted and THEN go to town.

May 19, 2009 01:06 PM
Bonnie Cox
Prudential Caruthurs - Bel Air, MD

Hi Irene,

Irene, that is what I thought too!  (Irene is the name of our office manager for our Harford Office in Maryland). 

That is also a good point you made about waiting until about the third week to approach the expireds, instead of hitting them when everyone else is hitting them.

I have paired up with another agent in our office to do this and we have been quite successful.

May 19, 2009 03:21 PM
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO


This is a great post.  Thank you for sharing your successes!

Ann Hayden in warm Wildwood, Missouri

May 20, 2009 02:28 AM
Doug Wolfe

What tools are you using to follow up with the expireds?

Jun 06, 2009 06:02 AM