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When Is the Best Time to Call Expired Listings?

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Successful real estate agents typically devote several hours each day to prospecting. Expired listings provide many real estate agents with a rich source of prospects. But when is the best time to call expired listings? Learn this and other tips for harvesting these potential leads.

What Is an Expired Listing?

When an owner decides to use a real estate agent to sell their property, they enter into a listing agreement. The contract gives the real estate agent the right to list the property for sale for a specific duration, such as six months. If the property is not sold within the contracted period and the listing is not renewed, then the listing expires. Real estate listings expire for many reasons, including a too high asking price, inexperienced or unmotivated real estate agents, poor real estate marketing, inadequate staging, and unfavorable market conditions.

Why Would I Want to Call an Expired Listing?

Expired listings can be a great source of high-quality leads for real estate agents. The property owners already listed their property once, so they are interested in selling. A seller’s real estate agent can more easily convert these motivated sellers into clients, since the conversion ratio of contacts to appointments to contracts is higher for this group. A buyer’s real estate agent is more likely to be able to negotiate a good price as well as quickly close.

Tips for Calling Expired Listings

Though you will develop your own style and preferred methods over time, you might consider following some experts’ tips and best practices for calling expired listings.

  • Prepare a script. Before you call, have your script. Plan out what you will say, the answers to likely questions, the reasons to choose you as the agent, etc. Practice your script until it becomes second nature and you can recite it easily.
  • Be consistent and persistent. Plan to contact expired listings for at least an hour, and schedule the time into your schedule. Don’t give up when faced with rejection, since rejection will be inevitable. Keep making your calls and outreaching according to your plan, and don’t forget to follow up on contacts.

The Best Time to Call Expired Listings

Some agents prefer more direct and immediate contacts, while others schedule contacts according to a more strategic timeline.

Calling the Next Morning

Many real estate agents call homeowners of expired listings the morning after the listing expires in MLS. By following this approach, agents hope to be the first to contact the owner, thus beating out competition from other real estate agents. While this method can be effective, calling as soon as the listing expires can overwhelm or irritate the owner, who might be subject to a barrage of agents calling. Also, if you are not the first agent to call, then you probably will have to exert more effort in order to stand out from the crowd.

Calling to Follow-up on Mailing

Some agents choose to make first contact through delivery of a marketing packet or direct mail marketing, such as a postcard. The materials should provide useful information, such as reasons why the house did not sell, as well as specific details about what you would do differently than the previous agent to sell their home. Call to follow up a few days after the mailing is delivered or should have arrived in the mail.

30/60/90 Day Schedule

Some agents prefer to focus on older expired listings. You can target expired listings off the market for 30 days, 60 days, or even 90 days or more. You likely will face less competition from other agents when you pursue older expired listings. Many owners take some time to regroup and rethink their marketing plan or decision to sell, so waiting to call expired listings until some time has passed might be to your advantage.

ProspectNow not only can help you find expired listings, but the real estate platform’s algorithms can help you identify properties predicted as the most likely to be listed for sale in the next 12 months. Be proactive in winning the seller’s business by locating expired listings in your market, get an edge on the competition, and close more deals by taking advantage of ProspectNow’s property information tools.

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