Ethics of Business - Working Expired Listings?

Real Estate Agent with Raving Real Estate

I simply wanted to hear feedback from agents on the issue of "agents who work expired listings".


I recently was in a discussion where the concept was nearly horrifying to an agent.  I said there was nothing wrong with it and he called me a "bottom feeder".  After I was done laughing, I asked him to back it up and explain what was wrong with this practice.  I also asked him to explain how it was wrong to comply with the NAR COE, he ignored all my valid questions and offered only redundant rhetoric that did not address any of my points.

I work in a small town, but always assumed this was quite common in big cities.  I work expireds sometimes, depending on the listing and my needs, etc.  And I can't even fathom the argument against it.  I wonder if these agents are aware of anti-trust laws and so forth.  To be against this idea of working expireds is to be against free trade & fair competition and in favor of monopolies.  That IS what we are talking about here.

Do agents realize that this whole issue in the COE is about avoiding monopoly and complying with anti-trust laws?  This is the same reason that an MLS would have trouble turning down any member that had complied with all requirements.  I've seen them try to do so and always wonder why they would even mess with something so dangerous.  I guess some folks are just afraid of competition.


Personally, this is how I see it:  The agent who already has the listing, most likely for 4-6 months really has a HUGE advantage.  They have the inside track, and have had perhaps 6 months to build a relationship, trust, and confidence from their seller.  If they are even doing half their job, a stranger agent really should be no threat at all.  And if a strange agent CAN come in after this period of time and establish more confidence in a five minute phone call than the previous agent did in 6 months, then we should look more closely at the first agent in my opinion for they must be doing something drastically wrong.


What do YOU think?

Comments (7)

Robert Huntsinger
Empire Realty - Upland, CA
Empire Realty Upland, CA - Full Service at a Discount

Free for all, go after expired listings, if they can't service the listing someone should.

Take care!


Jul 05, 2008 05:26 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Brendan, I don't see any issue with working expired as long as you are complying with all of the NAR and local board rules and ethics.

Jul 05, 2008 05:44 PM
Deb Wilson
Crye-Leike Realtors - Clarksville, TN
Realtor - Clarksville TN

Brendan,  I work expired listings everyday.  Most of the time, I check out hot sheet just after midnight, gather the information I need and start with them first thing in the morning.  If the sellers are local, I will drop an information package by on the way to the office.  If not, I will call them by 8:30 their time.  I have had great response from doing this.  People who do not work expired listings are missing a gold mine. 

Jul 05, 2008 05:58 PM
Mark Organek
And the United States of America - Mesa, AZ
It's not a game, it's your life.

The NAR COE encourages exclusive representation and an expired relationship should be viewed as an expried relationship between seller and former agent.  Go for all you can!  Maybe you can sell the home.

Jul 05, 2008 05:59 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Go for it. If the pre-existing agent is keeping the listing they would likely have had an extension signed and it would not have expired. Our 2 cents.

Jul 05, 2008 08:02 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Working expired listings is a great way to add to your business. Persistence is the key to success and be careful not to call anyone on the Do Not Call Registry. Go for it!

Jul 06, 2008 02:05 AM
Doris Freeman
Zach Taylor Real Estate - Gallatin, TN
Broker/Agent, 615-961-7799

There are some agents that get over 50% of their inventory by working expired.  I don't see anything wrong with working them, sometimes people just need a second chance with a new perspective on how to market their home.

Have A Great Day

Jul 31, 2008 06:38 AM