Expired Real Estate Listings
When a listing expires, every seller has four options. That’s whenyou’ll see the described human behavior patterns come into play.
1. Re-list with their current real estate professional
2. Take the house off the market
3. List the house For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO)
4. Contract with you
Option 1: Re-list with their current real estate professional - For whatever reason, their house did not sell. Perhaps thehomeowner now realizes how difficult the housing market is orthat the listing price was too high, or perhaps they’re nowacknowledging that they didn’t listen to their agent’s advice.Therefore, they’re going to give the agent a second chance. That’s aperfectly okay thing to do. If that’s their decision, as per the code ofethics, you need to wish them well and walk away.The only question to ask before you leave is, “How long did you re-listfor? ” When a listing is about to expire, sometimes an agent mightask the seller for an extra week so he or she can follow up with oneparticular buyer who expressed interest in the house. Chances arethat week-long listing won’t get placed in the MLS (Multiple ListingService), so you would not know the new contract termination date.If the seller says that the re-listing contract is for more than a fewdays, then it will be on the MLS and you can look for the newexpiration date sometime in the future.
Option 2: Take the house off the market - When the seller says, “I’m taking the home off the market – it’s nolonger for sale,” realize that rationalization has likely set in. There’sno doubt that if someone puts their house on the market and thehouse doesn’t sell, they’re going to be upset. In their mind, no onein the marketplace thought the house was worthy of the sales price.From a human behavior standpoint, they don’t want to getdepressed, so they go into a rationalization mindset and say, “Well,we didn’t really want to sell the house anyway. This idea of makinga move right now probably doesn’t make sense.”Don’t allow sellers to rationalize their dreams away. Instead, it’s timefor you to rekindle their dreams. Ask them this simple question:“What made you originally put your home up for sale?” If thatreason made sense a few months ago when they originally listed thehouse, chances are it still makes sense now. So rekindle that dream.Don’t let them throw away what their family should be accomplishingand what goals they should be attaining.Just because the house didn’t sell during the last listing contractdoesn’t mean the house will never sell or that it shouldn’t be sold.So make sure you uncover the original goal and then rekindle it forthe sellers. They deserve to attain their goals.
Option 3: List the house For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) - When someone says they want to do a FSBO, and you push them notto, you may find yourself the recipient of displacement. You’re goingto take the wrath that the original real estate professional who listedthe house should probably be taking. The seller might explain to you,at length, everything the other agent didn’t do that the seller thinksshould have been done.Then the seller might explain to you, in depth, what the other agentdid that annoyed them or aggravated them. That’s okay. Stand thereand let the seller vent. If nothing else, you’ll know what the sellerdeems important and what he or she expects from a real estateprofessional. This will give you great content for your listingpresentation when you sit down with the seller.Now be prepared; the seller might displace in one other way. Theymight tell you that all agents are not worth anything because theiroriginal agent didn’t accomplish the goal of selling the house. Theymight paint all real estate professionals with the same brush. Ifthat happens, the best thing to say is, “Have you ever gotten a badhaircut before?” Of course, the seller will say, “Yes.” At that you say,“Okay…so what did you do? Did you stop getting your hair cut ordid you simply change hair stylists? ” The seller will say, “I changedhair stylists.” Then you explain that there is good and bad in every profession—good and bad hair stylists, agents, teachers, lawyers, doctors, policeofficers, etc. And just because there are good and bad in every lineof work doesn’t mean you don’t call on others for the products andservices you need. You still get your hair cut, see a doctor, talk to alawyer, send your kids to school, etc. You might then say, “Obviously,in your opinion, the last real estate professional you dealt with didn’taccomplish what you wanted. But you shouldn’t paint us all with thesame brush. Let’s go ahead and change hair stylists. Let me sit downwith you and show you the differences between the previous realestate agent and me.”
Option 4: Contract with youThis last option is the one that confuses agents the most becauseit’s the one they are least prepared for. When you contact the seller,she might say, “That’s so funny you contacted us. We were justthinking about calling you or calling your company.” Yes, mostagents get confused at this point. They assume they were going toget rejection, and they were prepared for rejection.They already set up rationalization and every other human behaviorpattern to deal with the rejection. As a result, when somethingpositive happens, they’re not ready for it.Make sure you’re always prepared. If you’re calling an expired listing,make sure you have time in your schedule to meet with them thatsame day. If you’re meeting them face-to-face, make sure you haveall the paperwork, just in case they say, “Yes, I’m ready to list with youright now.”Don’t let a positive response catch you off guard. The sellers wantthe house sold. They obviously want to use an agent because theydid so the first time. They might have just investigated who is thebest real estate agent or the best real estate company in the market.If they decided that it was you, they might have been just about tocall you. It happens, and when it does, be ready for it.
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