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October 8, 2018

Expired Listings and Your Opportunity for Marketing

Did you know that expired listings offer a marketing opportunity? There's significant upside in working with expired listings, if you know how to approach them correctly.

We have specific challenges calling owners of expired listings because of the "Do Not Call Law," and just like For Sale by Owners (FSBO's) Expireds do not respond to letters. The only thing I've seen work with Expireds is going directly to the door. 

(Caution: Paraphrase the remarks I offer below and make the words your own. Dialogue is dangerous; it can sound canned and corny instead of smooth and convincing.)

What to Say to the Expired Listing Owner at the Door

When you go to the door, don't take anything (briefcase, computer, etc.) and don't have a business card in your hand. Ring the bell and step back looking down the street, not at the peephole. When the door opens, smile and say, "Hello, Mr. Seller? Are you aware that your home is no longer offered to the MLS for sale?"  If he says he has re-listed, thank him and ask them who he has listed with and tell him you will contact his agent for information. 

They may say something else, common examples include:

"We want to wait." 

"We are rethinking the process." 

"We are going to try it ourselves."  

"We are mad at the agent."'  

Your answer is, "Well fine, I am looking for a few select properties to add to my inventory of fine homes for sale. I would like to set a time to return and preview your home.  What day and time is best for you?"

Wait for the answer.  Sometimes they'll say, "Where were you when it was listed?" 

Your answer is, "I'm sorry.  I was working 100% for the people who hired me to manage the sale of their property. I am now, however, looking for a few select properties to add to my inventory of fine homes for sale and would be interested in previewing yours.  If now is not convenient, what would be the best time for you?"

They may say, "We don't want to list."

Your answer is, "I'm not here to list your house today, I am here to look at your house and determine if it meets the criteria of my discerning buyers.  If it does, then I may discuss with you the possibilities of my managing the marketing of your house. Is this a good time?"

Most of the time they will invite you in to preview their home, after all, they have had it on the market and are used to working with REALTORS.
When they do, you tour the house quickly and return to the door you entered.  They will always ask the same question, "What do you think of our price?"

If you think you can sell it, you answer, "I don't know." (Even if you just sold the identical house next door, never give them a price.)  "However, I could do a Right Price Analysis that would take one to two hours of my time, which I would gladly do for you for a no-cost obligation. That is, if at some point, you would be interested in hiring me to manage and market the sale of your home."

If, however, you don't think you can sell it, you reply: "I don't know, however, your home does not fit the profile of the home my buyers are seeking.  Thank you for letting me preview." At this point, most will bid you farewell. 
However, some will say, "What do you mean it doesn't fit the profile of the homes your buyers are seeking?"

You say, "There are extensive repairs needed to bring your house up to the standards of today's buyers so that you may achieve the highest possible price.  Would you be open to making those repairs?"  Pause...

"Like what?" they may ask.  

You answer, "I don't know. However, I could do a Right Price Analysis including repairs and maintenance necessary to bring your home up to market standards that would take two to three hours of my time, which I would gladly do for you for a no-cost obligation. That is, if at some point, you would be interested in hiring me to manage and market the sale of your home."

If they agree, ask to again preview the home making an extensive list of everything needed to bring this home up to market desirability.  Ask who will be signing the sales documents on the property, make a return appointment with those parties, leave your card and thank them.

Jerry Rossi, Certified e-PRO Trainer, ROSSI Speaks, inc. Edutainer, Humorist, Coach, & Bon Vivant, and author of Dog Eat Dog & Vice Versa: 9 Secrets To Put the Bite Into Your Marketing.
 

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