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How to Win Expired Listings

By Lindsay Davis Last Updated November 12, 2019 4 min read

Expired listings can be a diamond in the rough (and worth the mining!) for real estate agents who excel in the following marketing strategies

It takes confidence and strategic planning to pitch yourself to a disgruntled and often jaded homeowner with an expired listing. Agents who successfully transform tired, old listings into hot homes online reap incredible benefits.

Take it from Keller Williams agent, Jeremy Katz, who took on a listing that sat on the market for 180 days: “I re-shot it with Virtuance . Within the first week, we received 6 offers, went under contract in one week, and sold for $40,000 over asking price.”

Keller Williams agent Peter Winscott agrees with Katz’s technique of bringing in professional photography. After obtaining an expired listing that sat on the market for 83 days, Winscott knew the terrible pictures needed a major upgrade. “I knew all they needed was Virtuance,” he said. “We took new pictures without any different staging or changes. I increased the price by $10,000 and after 10 days, we were under contract for full list price, all cash offer.”

There’s a couple of things that these two Keller Williams agents have in common. For one, they both had the confidence and credibility to take on an expired listing. Secondly, they had a real estate photography partner they could trust. By using a Virtuance Real Estate Photographer, they knew that setting up the shoot would be easy with 24/7 online scheduling and an award-winning client success team on their side. They also knew that their images would be of the highest quality and consistent with what they’ve received from Virtuance shoot after shoot.

We will talk more about how a professional photography marketing strategy with Virtuance can make a huge impact in selling an expired listing, but let’s begin with how to find these expired listings.

Finding expired listings through your MLS

Key Takeaways:

  • Search the MLS for listings about to expire
  • The older the listing, the easier to convert
  • Investigate the pain points

Begin by searching your local MLS hot sheet for listings about to expire. Keep a running list of the data you find.  Do not contact the seller until a day after their listing expires. Remember, the older the expired listing, the easier it is to convert the seller.

After you find a listing you want to pursue, study the pain points, like the marketing strategies the previous agent used for the listing. If the listing had poor images, no description, and limited exposure online, the seller will welcome an agent who can offer a fresh take.

Preparing your listing-specific pitch to the homeowner

Key Takeaways:

  • Personalize your generic expired listings letter
  • Discover the home’s unique, marketable features
  • Highlight your portfolio and metrics

It’s okay to have a generic pitch prepared, but you will want to personalize it for the specific listing. Start by researching the home in-depth and look for unique, marketable features. Does their home have a story? Original, beautiful hardware or architecture? Speak to this narrative in your expired listing letter. Homeowners will want to know how your technique differs from the agent who couldn’t sell their home in the first place.

In many markets, inventory is short and you are not the only agent targeting expired listings. Look for ways to make your expired listing letter stand out. Your letter should be printed on high-quality paper and showcase your portfolio of beautiful listing images and past sales metrics. This is your chance to sell yourself and your brand!

Once you personalize and send your expired listing letter, follow up with the homeowner – and not just once, but multiple times. Without being pushy or aggressive, following up will prove you are a go-getter willing to work hard for the homeowner.

Really WOW the homeowner with your listing presentation

Key Takeaways:

  • Create a powerful listing presentation
  • Discuss your sales history
  • Seal the deal!

After receiving your impressive expired listing letter and your follow-up email or postcard, the homeowner is intrigued. It’s time to prepare a presentation that will win you the listing!

Your presentation should include a healthy mix of high-quality images from past listings, referrals, sales metrics, and community/neighborhood statistics.

Once you finish your listing presentation, address the needs of the seller with a comprehensive marketing plan on how you will succeed. Discuss any issues you noticed with the previous listing, like poor-quality interior images or lack of marketing altogether. If you’ve succeeded in winning and selling an expired listing before, this would be a great opportunity to show the seller before and after images.

Here are some before and after images from real estate agents who used Virtuance Real Estate Photography:

expired listings - real estate photography

Upon completing your presentation, ask the seller if you can take control of the listing. Bring a ready-to-sign contract that you can walk the seller through before you seal the deal!

One expired listing win will lead to another

As you begin to build your portfolio with impressive stats, before and after images and powerful referrals, expired listings will begin to fall into your lap. Keep in mind that successfully turning around and selling an expired listing is a major accomplishment.

The key to successfully winning an expired listing is to proactively search for them on your MLS, reach out with an expired listing letter, present your marketing metrics and professional real estate photography strategies, and sell that house!

Happy hunting and good luck!