The Secret of Expired Listings

Real Estate Expired ListingsThe secret to successfully listing expired listings is to having a plan, execute it and followup. Sounds pretty simple and it is, but the hard part for some may be having a plan, executing it and following up.

Having a Plan to List Expireds


Having a plan to list expired listing will keep you focused and give you step by step directions on what to do. By not having a plan, a real estate agents will fail at listing expireds.

What you’ll need:

First, go on the MLS and and designate an area you will work expireds. Search for expireds in that area and see how many listings have gone expired in the last week, month and year. This will give you a good range of how many expireds to expect. If the amount is too small or too large, decrease or increase the area. In the MLS you can create a hot sheet for expireds that you’ll receive daily updates.

Tip: It’s a good idea to plan ahead and track new listings. When you see a new listing, you can follow it’s progress and determine if it will become expired. You’ll know which listings are probable to become expireds comparing it to see if it’s overpriced or has apparent issues. Preview the property so you will know what property is like inside and discover other issues of why it might not sell. 

You can also use third-party companies like Red X that will feed you a list of expireds. They will also provide any other contact information for the homeowner including other phone numbers or contact information. They will crosscheck the MLS to determine if the listing has been relisted or sold and will let you know if they are on the do not call list.

Now you can create an expired listings list. Map them out accordingly so you can hit one after another without driving back and forth between neighborhoods.

Before you get to excited and go running out the door, you need to know what to say. Practicing an expired listing script can help you tremendously so you can answer questions and objections debunk sellers will have.

You will also need something to leave behind whether you speak to the seller or not. A flyer, brochure or pamphlet about expireds including how to contact you is best. If you don’t have anything to offer, at least leave your business card and write a note on the back.


In my experience, it has been best to contact the homeowner directly for the initial contact rather than a phone call or mail. Yes it is more time consuming but being the 1st face to face contact is crucial. Remember, most sellers only speak to 1 agent before making their decision.

Grab your expireds list, get in your car and drive to the 1st expired listing property. What time you show up is up to you. I would approach the homes between 7:30am and 8:00am. Most homeowners won’t be home after that. And in the evening, they come home tired, hungry and have activities to tend to.

Walk up to the door with your material you will leave behind. Bring your presentation folder, laptop, etc. but leave it in the car. Knock and try to talk to the homeowner and see why the home did not sell. Listen and offer help. Gather as much information as possible as a homeowner will most likely vent and complain why the home didn’t sell. Ask to see the home. If they are open to talking more, ask if you can show they how you will sell their home. If they agree, go to your car and grab your presentation. If they are open to talk but not at that time, ask to come back later that day or the next. Set the appointment.

If there is no one home, come back later that day or the next day. Always leave something behind showing you were there. Go back to the office and if you can call them, call and tell them you were at the house earlier and go into your script. If they do not answer, leave a message.

Also, mail them a letter about their expired listing. Mail a letter or other material at least 3-4 times the initial week until you make contact and set an appointment.


 Often overlooked, followup is the most important thing you can go when going after expireds. Most agents do a poor job of following up. Most will only attempt once to reach a homeowner, others 2 or 3 times. After that, the percentage plummets dramatically. Think of it this way, the longer you keep trying to list an expired, the better your chances because your competition goes away.

Although there are many ways to attack expired listings, the important thing is to have a plan. Create it or borrow it, but make it your own.

Found this useful? We want to help. We can offer you more ideas and support. Ask us, we’ll help you.

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