Nov 3, 2020

The Angry and Frustrated Life of the Expired Listing

For what it is worth, I have been an expired listing before.

We attempted to sell a property we owned out of state and when we were unable to (it was in 2009, if you care to ask ‘why’…not much sold) and the listing expired, the phone calls came rolling in.

phone call

If your listing has expired, you may feel about like this by lunch time…

What Does ‘EXPIRED’ Mean?

If you are unsure what an ‘Expired Listing’ is, it is a property that was listed by a Brokerage and whose time period (duration of the representation) has come and gone.  The property’s status in MLS (the Multiple Listing Service) automatically switches from ACTIVE (meaning FOR SALE with a broker) to EXPIRED (meaning no longer FOR SALE with a broker) and thus, available for anyone and everyone to call to pitch their services.  In reality, being an EXPIRED means that your house did not sell and the entire world is now calling you and telling you why…at the exact point when you really did not want to hear about it or think about it.  And the calls keep coming…

When our property expired, the calls started at about 8:45 am.  They all started out roughly the same way, “I guess you know that your home has come up on our computer as expired…”  Yes, I know it has now and Yes, I now know what I am in for.  I quit answering the phone after about the first 4 or 5 calls and would estimate that I got 5 or 6 more.  Each one was scripted similarly and knowing what question is coming next is what got me the most frustrated…but I digress.

An Expired Call is Usually an Agent Who Hustles

As a Realtor, I never want to be rude to a fellow agent who is simply hustling.  I respect work ethic and I also respect those who prospect.  Prospecting in any sales business is hard and relentless work and generally speaking, calling people that you do not know on a daily basis and asking them for business is an endeavor that generates far many more people telling you NO than those telling you YES.  So despite the fact that the agents were all telling me the same thing, in the same order,  I generally let them speak and would engage a bit before letting them know that I was a broker.

The point is this, the rules of the game dictate that having your listing expire means effectively broadcasting to the world that you want to sell your property but as of yet, have been unsuccessful.  The expired status in MLS is the Realtor equivalent of the Bat Signal in the skies over Gotham and thus, cue the phone calls from the agents who make it a point to religiously call the expired listings each day.

If you are reading this, it means that you have either had a listing expire (and are trying to figure out why you are being bombarded by calls from Realtors), are about to and want to know what to expect, or are morbidly curious about how our industry works. Whatever the reason, understand the agents who religiously monitor the MLS for expired listings and call them daily are generally pretty good agents and have adopted a proactive stance in how they find business.  They prospect habitually and generally take no prisoners.  If there was a job description for someone I would want to represent me, then a hard-working, aggressive and business minded ‘agent’ is not that far from what I think I would want.

Find the Positive, Despite the Negative

As with everything in life, finding a positive in negative situation is the goal and finding the right agent to sell your home after having failed the first time, regardless of the reason, would be a great outcome.  The agents who are calling you are also calling other people, in large numbers, to try to pair up buyers and sellers.  If you want your representative to be aggressive and proactive, then know that the Realtors calling could be precisely what you need.