Tis the Season for Expired Listings!

Published on December 22, 2011

How would you like to start the New Year with a boost to your listing inventory?

While the average real estate agent is cleaning up Christmas wrapping paper, organizing the new toy room, putting away the decorations from holiday parties, or recovering from a New Year’s hangover, the top one-percenters will be up early and cashing in on the hundreds of new listings hitting the market the first week of January 2012.

Historically the last day of the monthExpired Listing sign and the first couple of days of a month are the most productive times to set appointments with home sellers whose listings have expired. With no offers in sight and a listing contract at it’s end, sellers are often eager for a new approach to getting their home sold.

This is especially true for the end of December and beginning of January which not only marks the end of a month, but the end of a year. New Year’s resolutions to “get the house sold” begin to emerge and sellers seek solutions to their two most recent dilemmas:

  • Increased stress due to holiday expenses
  • Lack of space for all that extra stuff

For agents who want to kick it up a notch and set a month’s worth of appointments in a short 2 day time frame, this is the opportunity. There are three types of prospecting activities that can help make this possible.

  • Schedule time to call sellers with listings expiring the end of December.
  • Look up expired listings from October and November who did not re-list (probably waiting until after the holidays).
  • Call your sphere of influence to wish them a Happy New Year AND find out who they have heard about that is not happy with the results they are getting with their current agent and are planning to make a change.

The calls to home owners with listings expiring should take place the day they expire (preferably early in the morning) so you can set an appointment before their listing agent realizes they missed the deadline for extending the listing (happens all the time). There is a pretty high likelihood that the home owner won’t know the home is showing up as an expired listing in the MLS and will be even more eager to talk with you when they realize their agent has dropped the ball.

As soon as you run out of "today" expireds, move to those home owners who took a break from the market during the holidays. They will be ready to go now that the New Year has arrived. Don't forget that a lot of people take extra days off around the holidays for the specific reason of getting their home back on the market. If you take the day off too, you will likely miss your window of opportunity.

When talking to people in your sphere of influence, rest assured they probably know a neighbor, co-worker, or relative who listed their home with another agent and who has been complaining their home has not sold. When you find out that their friend/co-worker/neighbor is unhappy with the results they are getting with their current agent, ask them to have the home owner call you direct. You can’t ethically reach out to them to solicit their listing until their current contract is officially expired or withdrawn, but if they call you and request an appointment, you are within the ethical guidelines to go and meet with them.

That brings me to three very important questions...

  1. Are YOUR current clients happy with you and your performance? How do you know?
  2. Do you have any listings that are due to expire this month?
  3. What are you doing next year to insure that your business thrives and that you grow personally & professionally?

Amidst all the holiday spirit and festivities, it is important to stay sharp and at the top of your game. Double check your contract dates and stay in touch with your clients... you don’t want to fall victim to a year end oversight!

Happy New Year & Happy New 2012 Listing Inventory!!!!

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Nikki and Chris Buckelew are recognized international real estate coaches, trainers, and speakers. Their specialty is coaching and consulting real estate agents and brokers toward creating highly profitable businesses and amazingly successful lives.  Clients who hire Nikki and Chris are often seeking assistance in increasing their profitability without sacrificing their health, relationships, and core values. For more information go to www.NikkiandChris.com.

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  • Nikki

    Top 5 most common objections people have when calling expired listings:

    1.    I’m going to stay with the agent I have.
    2.    I’m going to sell it myself by owner.
    3.    I’m taking it off the market, we’ve decided not to move.
    4.    I am going to rent it.
    5.    I’ve already found another agent.
    Occasionally, this is one you may get:   
    Where were you when my house was on the market? I don’ think you even showed my house.