There’s a subtle science of how to contact expired listings.

Obviously, this is a blog about how to contact expired listings, but before we dive into that, I want to talk about WHY you should be contacting expired listings.

Yes, with demand so high and inventory so low, there are fewer listings expiring than there have been in previous years. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still listings expiring, whether it’s because they couldn’t find somewhere else to move, they couldn’t get the right price, or they withdrew to wait for the market to improve.

There is inventory out there that wants to be unlocked and is waiting for someone with the right skills to come along and do it. And more importantly, there are people who want to relocate but were forced to put their lives on hold for one reason or another.

This blog is about how you can help the people who need you most. Your service starts by contacting them in the right way.

Let’s dive on in.


How to Contact Expired Listings, Step 1: Put in the Research

You’re the informed expert. You do your homework before you show up for an appointment or even make the call. That’s what makes you capable of getting the job done and that’s why they’re going to choose to work with you. Start demonstrating it at the beginning.

We’re going to get into scripts later, but we start here because you’re going to tailor your script to what actually went wrong. Find out who their last agent was and look into what kind of marketing they did for the home. How were the pictures they put up? How much engagement did they get on social? 

A note of urgency here: you want to take the time to do enough research, but not too much time. You want to reach out as soon as possible. They’re going to have a lot of other agents also reaching out to them (be sure to be empathetic about this later when making contact).


How to Contact Expired Listings, Step 2: Get Your Social in Shape

It’s vital that your presence speaks for itself and you begin to establish trust even before you make the first call. This is especially important if the listing expired due to a lack of marketing. These people aren’t likely to trust easily again. So how do you get them to trust the fact that you’re the one to market their home? 

Well, don’t just tell them, because they’ve been told falsely before. Let your marketing speak for itself through your social media profiles. This is the easiest way to display for everyone:

  • How you market yourself
  • How you market your business
  • How you’ve successfully marketed other people’s homes

Make your feed a place where someone would want to see their home featured. This is what’s going to change the vibe of the entire conversation and allow the potential sellers to get to know you before you ever reach out. Be sure to also showcase proof of success pieces towards the top.

How to Contact Expired Listings, Step 3: Have Your Script Ready

So, you’ve done your research and you maybe have an idea of what went wrong during the transaction. Now you’re going to use that research to anticipate any objections they may throw at you and work it into your script. 

Virginia Expireds Queen, Carolyn Young, who is on track to close a whopping 250+ listings this year, shared a knockout script that’s so simple but so effective for prospecting Expireds:


Hey, is this [NAME]? Hey [NAME], this is Tom Ferry with Banana Real Estate. I’m giving you a call because I saw your home come off the market and I’m wondering if it’s still for sale?

I’m sorry to hear that. Where were you going to move to?

What a shame, because this is high season and most homes in this area are getting multiple offers right now. Let me ask you, what is stopping you from moving forward? 

[Here is where you’ll see if your research paid off. Be prepared for whatever they might say here, such as “We didn’t get the price we wanted,” or “We couldn’t find another place to live,” or “Interest rates are so high that we figured we’d wait it out.”]

Well look, I’m an expert in this market and I have a track record of selling homes like yours for a more than fair price. If it’d be possible, I’m going to be in the area tomorrow and I’d like to set up a time for us to get together so I could show you some options. I care about people in my market, and I want to make sure that you’re getting the best service possible. Is there a time that would work for you?


That script is pretty much good to go as is, but when you adapt it to the unique situation, it’s dynamite.


How to Contact Expired Listings, Step 4: Show You’re Different

Once you get the appointment, it’s not enough to establish that you’re good. Expireds have been burned before; that’s why an extra level of professionalism is critical. 

You need to highlight how you’re different. Point out the mistakes that the last agent made along the way and how you’d do it differently.

An awesome approach would be Gary Gold’s “reverse listing presentation” which walks prospective sellers through the entire process backwards. That way, you can truly demonstrate EVERYTHING you’ll do to get their home sold – and when presented this way, it makes your approach seem a lot more compelling than the last agent.


Contribute as Much as Possible to Those Who Need it Most 

The reason I love seeing agents helping Expireds is because they’re serving the people who need them – those who have been disappointed by other, less informed agents. It’s given these sellers a bad impression of what our industry does, and now you have an opportunity to fix it. 

It’s all about coming at this from a service mindset, contributing as much as possible to help get people to where they want to be. This is exactly what my team and I are striving to do at this year’s 20th anniversary Success Summit. We’re giving away more than ever before to help agents get back on track and find their Path Forward through this turbulent market.

We all help each other and serve each other. That’s where greatness happens. Just remember that.