How to Get Expired Listings

Three Methods:Researching the Regulations and ListingsCreating a Listing PresentationMaking the Ask

One way to get new listings as a licensed real estate salesperson is to list expired properties that were previously listed by another broker. Doing this is a task fraught with legal issues and can be an agency nightmare. However with the right steps - and careful, cautious adherence to your state's agency laws, rules and regulations - you can be successful at getting expired listings.

Method 1
Researching the Regulations and Listings

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    Check state laws, rules and regulations. You need to ensure nothing prohibits taking post-dated listings. A good place to start is reviewing real estate license training manuals for your state such as (state name) Real Estate Principles, Practices & Law. Check also if it is legal to contact a seller about a future listing - even though the seller is currently in a contract to sell with another broker.
    • Post-dated listings are those where a client signs a listing agreement with a new real estate broker before their contract with another broker officially ends. The agreement is dated for the day after the current contract ends.
    • Check the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics. Courts have used the NAR Code as a standard for ruling on cases dealing with taking post-dated listings.[1]
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    Check your company's listing contracts. It is not worth the effort to obtain a new listing if any other real estate broker has the right to collect a commission from a canceled or expired listing. If this is the case, try to have this clause removed or find another real estate company to work for.
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    Search the MLS for properties that have only a few days left before they expire. Contact the sellers you find with an about-to-expire listing. Ask them about their intent to sell their property after the listing expires if the property does not sell before. Disclose immediately the following:
    • You are a licensed real estate salesperson with (your name and company name).
    • Tell the seller on the call, "I actually do not have a buyer but am wondering about something else. I viewed your property and saw it is going to fall off the market soon. After that happens, I was wondering if you had considered listing your home for sale with a different agent at that time?"

Method 2
Creating a Listing Presentation

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    Find expiring listings with potential. You want to find listings that expired because sellers were unhappy with their current agent, and not because their expectations were unrealistic. Choose properties that had poor marketing or have been for sale with the same broker for a long period of time, such as six months or more.[2]
    • Expiring listings with potential include those that have a history of price reductions (shows the sellers are flexible), poor photography and videos, a lack of advertising, and properties with unique features that were not marketed well.
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    Prepare a listing presentation. This will demonstrate how you will take care of any problems that kept the property from selling previously. First ask questions and do a lot of listening to hear why the sellers are dissatisfied with their current broker. Your presentation should include:[3]
    • Your past sales history and the average time it took to close deals.
    • Your marketing strategy. Describe how you promoted your listings and the tactics you used to maximize exposure. Give examples of how you found the right buyers such as those relocating from another state, people who want to be near a city vs. living in the country, those looking for good schools or to be on a bus route, etc.[4]
    • How you would market the expiring listing property. Include weaknesses in the current sales strategy and how you would do things better.
    • Quotes from past clients who were very happy with your services.
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    Follow up. The day after your presentation to potential clients, call them to ask if they have any questions. Ask what their timeframe is to make a decision on whether they will be changing real estate brokers.

Method 3
Making the Ask

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    Ask the seller for the listing. You must tell the seller you are interested in listing their property only after their current listing expires. Tell them you will do a better job for them. Insist you have absolutely no interest in listing this property until its listing expires.
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    Ask if they would be willing to sign a listing agreement now. Explain the agreement would be dated with a date immediately after the expiration of their current contract. They may be more than happy to do this because you gave them advance notice.
    • Often during the listing - if there is little traffic to the property - or if their agent does not advertise properly on their behalf - they will be excited to sign a postdated listing.
    • Ensure you tell them again that you have no intent to interrupt or force them to cancel their current contract.
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    Keep track of when the date approaches for the expired listing. Meet with the customers and sign the listing, if you have not already signed a post-dated listing while following the previous step. Make a calendar for when to follow up with numerous expiring listings.


  • Keep your head up. You are doing the sellers a service if their property is not getting attention from buyers. If they do not appreciate your call they will tell their listing agent about it, so be prepared to deal with animosity and brokers attempting to pressure you to avoid using this technique to grow your business.
  • Stay clean. Getting expiring-and-expired listings is often frowned upon because it is done without regard to ethical standards. Do it right and you will be viewed well by others.
  • To play it perfectly safe, wait until the day after the current listing expires to contact the seller.


  • You could be found guilty of violating fair practice and fined by your state's Real Estate Commission if you do not follow your state's laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Check your listing contracts to ensure they clearly rule out any other real estate broker's right to collect commission from a canceled or expired listing.
  • Check with state laws, rules and regulations to ensure nothing prohibits taking post-dated listings. Check also that it is legal to contact a seller about a future listing - even though the seller is currently in a contract to sell.

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Categories: Real Estate