As a real estate agent, you need to work every angle possible. This includes using expired listing scripts to call on clients that no longer have a contract with an agent. Read on to learn how you can use a pre-formatted script to increase your leads.
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Why Use Expired Listings?
As a real estate professional, lead generation is a fact of life and the usual methods — direct mail, Facebook ads, email marketing, and paid search ads — don’t always have great conversion rates (0.3%-5.1% response rates on average).
For the agent who is up for a challenge, approaching and working with homeowners who were unable to sell (whether FSBO or agent-represented) is the lead generation method you probably thought wasn’t worth your time.
Expired listings are tough to win over for a few reasons, but someone is going to help these people sell their homes. If you can put the seller’s mind at ease, show your expertise, and raise their confidence in getting the home sold, that agent could be you.
Well-written, instructive, seller-oriented expired listing scripts are essential to woo the homeowner who’s had a bad experience with real estate so far.
If writing scripts isn’t your specialty, check out the script examples at the bottom and tweak them to make them work for you.
What are Expired Listing Scripts?
Expired listings are any real estate agent’s dream: They’re really motivated to sell their home for what it’s worth, they’re unsure of how to do it, and they’re probably actively looking for a knowledgeable agent to “fix” the problem.
But the expired listing scenario is a homeowner’s worst nightmare, and that’s what expired listing scripts – a written guide to a conversation with a homeowner with an expired listing – need to be built around.
Consider the mindset of a homeowner who didn’t manage to sell before the listing expired. They’re likely stressed, confused, angry, frustrated, desperate, or afraid they’ll never be able to sell the home. In other words, they’re panicking.
An aggressive, fear-based approach just won’t work with these homeowners, who are likely being hounded by dozens of agents daily who want to take over the listing.
What kind of script will cut through the noise and stand out to them most?
Keys to an Effective Expired Listing Script
Anyone can write an expired listing script, but knowing what to include is a bit of a challenge. This rings especially true if you’ve never written one before. But don’t worry. We have the keys to the most effective script possible.
1. Show authority and expertise
A good script positions you as an expert that is interested in guiding and helping the homeowner. If you’ve sold homes nearby, don’t be afraid to say you’re a neighborhood expert.
You’ve seen and experienced this scenario before, and you’re confident that you know what to correct to successfully sell the home.
2. Inform the homeowner
Confusion breeds avoidance, and the best remedy is good information. The homeowner may not understand why their home failed to sell — they only know that something went wrong.
Whether it was a FSBO listing or with another agent, use this opportunity to remove the confusion and inform them about the mistakes that could’ve made the listing ineffective.
3. Offer incentives
Maybe you’ll lower your commission for the sale, agree to a flat fee, or make a guarantee (“I guarantee I’ll get your house sold! If I don’t find a buyer, you owe me absolutely nothing”).
You could talk about plans for an open house, offer to have better photos and videos taken (aerial, exterior, and interior) to increase the chances of selling, or you could give them a general outline of your marketing plan.
4. Be ready for objections
You’ll likely hear many objections, and the way you respond to them determines how much further the discussion goes. It’s your job to invalidate the objections and concerns they have, and you can only do that if you are prepared.
Do your homework and find out the most common objections in an expired listing scenario, then develop fool-proof counterpoints that relieve those concerns.
5. Be persistent
While an aggressive approach won’t get your foot in the door, a persistent approach is needed to break beyond the reservations of homeowners who have been let down. Once you’ve communicated or reached out the first time, be religious about the follow-up.
Use the channels available to you. Drop by once, send an email, place a phone call, send a text message, snail mail, or send a direct message on social media. But, be careful about treading the line between persistent and pushy.
6. Talk face-to-face
If you want to get in front of homeowners with expired listings, what better way to do it than in person? Your competition likely won’t bother prospecting expired listings door-to-door, so while dozens of calls go to the homeowner’s voicemail.
You could be in the homeowner’s living room discussing ways to move forward. The Keller Williams Realty report found that top producing agents “…will experience greater conversion rates when going door-to-door on FSBO and expired listings.”
With these keys in mind, take a look at 4 prospecting scripts for expired listings under different circumstances.
4 Types of Expired Listing Script Examples
Not sure what to say when cold calling to convince a homeowner to re-list with you as their agent? We’ve examined and made a few changes to 4 very different but incredibly effective expired listing scripts, most from Real Estate Lead Scripts, a helpful eBook from REDX.
All you need is the contact information for the homeowners you’ll be reaching out to! Delivered with warmth and confidence, these prospecting scripts make it difficult for a ready-to-sell homeowner to say no.
The Leading Question Script
“Hi, is _____ (first name) available? Hi, _____! My name is _______ with _______. I’ve noticed that after being on the market for a while your home hasn’t sold and is now off the market. I was curious to know what you think stopped your home from selling in the first place?
Was there anything that you feel your former agent should have done or did not do? Well, _____, it sounds to me like you still want to sell your home, right? I’m sure you won’t be working with the last agent again, correct? When do you plan on interviewing the right agent for the job of selling your home?
Okay, great! If you sold this home, where would you move next? How soon do you have to be there? _____(first name), if you could get your home sold at top-dollar in a time frame you were comfortable with, is that something you would be excited about?
And if I could help you make it happen, that would be OK with you, right? Then when would be the best time we could get together and discuss how we can make that happen? Would _____ at ____o’clock or ______ at _____ o’clock be better?”
The Failed FSBO Script
“Hi, is _____ around? Hi, ___! I’m _____ with ______, calling about your For Sale By Owner listing. I noticed it just expired. Are you still interested in selling? That’s great to hear, and are you going to re-list at the same price?
Listen, I’d like to set up a quick appointment with you for a ‘complimentary lesson’, not a sales pitch, on marketing and selling your home. If you like what I have to say but still want to go it alone, you can incorporate the ideas I share into your FSBO strategy.
And if you are really impressed with my marketing plan, you can put me to work immediately to get top dollar for your house! Could I come by for a quick chat on _____ at _____ or _____ at ______?”
The Second Opinion Script
“Hi, is ______ available? Hello, ____! I’m _____ at ______, and as I’m going through my Real Estate Data X-Change, I see that your listing expired. Wondering what your next steps will be to get your home sold?
(Plans on working with the same agent) Okay, can I tell you one reason why that worries me? Your former agent did his best to sell the home right? And I’m sure he showed you a plan that involved telling everyone in his sphere of influence and brokerage about your home – marketing it to everyone he knew right?
But he did that and it failed – its time to reach out to a new circle of people to find the person who is willing to pay top dollar for your home. I’d love to come by tonight at ____ to discuss how we can get your home sold.”
The Fixer Script
“Good morning, is _____ there? This is ________ with __________. I’m reviewing market activity over the past 24 hours and I see that your home is no longer for sale. It’s a beautiful home and I’m so sorry that is was on the market for ____ days without selling.
(Be quiet and wait for a response; they may tell you exactly what the other agent did wrong). Your home is in a great area so I’m assuming you’re still be interested in selling for the right price.
Would you be mind if I swing by later this week to drop off a comparative market analysis and a short synopsis on why your home did not sell? Great, would Friday at ___ or Saturday at ____ work best?”
What Should You Include in Your Expired Listing Script?
A warm, polite script that teaches the seller what went wrong with their listing and positions you as the expert who will make sure the same mistakes aren’t made again.
In an expired listing script, your confidence and warmth as an agent is the key to building trust and working with a homeowner in this position. By getting seller leads from expired listings, you have a great opportunity to not only grow your real estate business.
You can also to turn a bad experience into a positive milestone that will change your client’s life for the better. And that’s what will help position you as an expert in the field will earn a repeat customer.