If you learn to master the art of the expired listing presentation you can pick up listings with real potential. Agents who learn how to sift through expired listings and work with their sellers have a ready made list of seller leads right in their MLS. These expired listings are potentially diamonds in the rough just waiting to be picked up.
Of course, the challenge is separating listings that expired for reasons you can fix, like poor marketing, from those with problems you can’t fix, like unrealistic sellers. And once you’ve identified worthwhile listings to target, you need to create a listing presentation that explains how you’ll fix any problems that kept the property from selling previously. In this post, we cover strategies for turning an expired listing into a surefire sale.
Identifying the Right Sellers to Contact
Combing through your MLS for expired listings with potential can be time-consuming, but thorough research will help you pick the best targets. Be on the lookout for any “red flags” that indicate why the property failed to sell, like property damage or an undesirable location. But also look for “green flags” — reasons the property didn’t sell that might be fixable. Examples of some positive indicators are:
- Flexible price history: Even if the seller is still asking too much, a history of price reductions can indicate the seller is flexible and understands the need to adjust to the market.
- Poor photos and copy: If the listing agent provided terrible photos and a lousy description, it’s unlikely their sales efforts were very sophisticated. A competent marketing job might just make the property move.
- Underappreciated markets: If the property is in an up-and-coming area, it may become more desirable as that area’s reputation improves.
- Poor agent fit: If the previous listing agent specializes in farm land, but happened to pick up a condo listing, it’s unlikely they had the expertise to sell the property. Look for properties that play to your strengths.
- Unique features: A property with unique features needs some innovative marketing. If the expired listing has unusual qualities, it opens up the opportunity for you to take a fresh approach with your marketing.
Approaching Expired Listing Sellers
Next, it’s time to set up meetings with those you consider good prospects. First, you’ll need to put yourself in their position. Are they upset they haven’t offloaded their home? Are they angry with their previous agent? Determining their mindset is crucial before stepping foot in their home or bringing them into your office. This helps you prepare your sales pitch and adjust your language and tone. So, ask plenty of questions at the outset. Not only will the sellers appreciate your willingness to listen, you’ll learn exactly how to win the listing. Remember you’re there to fix a problem, and the first step is understanding the problem.
At this stage it’s more important to listen than talk. The sellers will probably have strong opinions about why their property didn’t sell. Don’t interrupt with your own opinions, even if you think the sellers are delusional. You’ll have a chance to set things straight later, but first you have to know what they think went wrong.
Also, this isn’t the time to bash a fellow agent. Even if the seller wants to complain about their previous agent, you won’t gain much by chiming in. Besides, a seller who complains excessively about their previous agent may not be one you want to work with either. Sympathize with their frustrations, and get frank, factual information on their relationship with the previous agent, but don’t let it turn into a rant.
“Ninety percent of selling is conviction, and 10 percent is persuasion.”
— SHIV KHERA
Pitching Sellers During Your Listing Presentation
Once you’ve figured out which real estate leads are worth pitching, it’s time to prepare your expired listing presentation. The visual elements of your listing presentation won’t change: What’s different between expired and regular listing presentations is all in your pitch and tone.
As noted above, the focal point should be how you can accomplish what their previous representation couldn’t: finding the right buyers willing to offer the right price on their property. Here are examples of specific information that can underscore these points:
- Average close time for your listings: The faster you close deals, the better you can position yourself as the right agent to expired listing sellers. While this may not be the central issue with their former agent, it’s certainly a big pro if you’ve proven to offload properties in better-than-average time.
- Your real estate marketing strategy: How you promote your listings dictates your success as an agent. Detail particular tactics you use to maximize exposure for your listings and to find the right buyer leads. Showing sellers you know how to attract the right people is vital.
- Specific goals for the expired listing: Clearly describe weaknesses in the previous sales strategy and outline how you’ll do things differently. Be sure to address any complaints the seller had about their previous experience, even if it means disagreeing with them. It’s fine to say, “I understand why you were unhappy, but I don’t think that’s the reason your property didn’t sell.”
You also want to provide details on your expertise and background so the seller develops confidence in you, particularly if they disliked their previous agent. By establishing your strengths, you’ll set the tone for a more productive relationship. Be sure to include this information:
- Detail your sales history: Highlight the most noteworthy transactions you closed, including those most relevant to your leads (like, if you sold the same style of home they currently own).
- Relay your market knowledge: Show off your familiarity with the local real estate market. Convincing with data is better (and easier) than convincing with just your personality.
- Share testimonials and reviews: What better way to persuade sellers to hire you than to share the stories of your past clients? Online reviews or testimonials (video ones work great) are ideal to share with prospective clients.
How do you convince sellers of expired listings to work with you over other agents? Share your insights with us below!