Tip of the Week – Farming Expired Listings
There’s a lot of different tactics that Realtors can use to build their business. Some take referrals from family or friends, some have floor duty or gather leads from public websites. Some Realtors search for expired listings in the MLS and contact the sellers.
All of these are legitimate business models. If done right. As with most businesses, there are right ways to do things and wrong ways. Especially with farming expired listings.
Before I get into what’s commonly done wrong, I’m going to explain something about how the MLS handles withdrawn listings.
If a listing is withdrawn, the listing agent has a choose between permanently or temporarily withdrawn. A permanently withdrawn listing generally means the existing listing agreement has been mutually ended early. There is no longer a valid agreement. The expiration date is changed by the system to the current date and the listing will expire overnight.
A temporarily withdrawn listing means that the property is still under a valid agreement but for one reason or another, the listing is off the market for a short time.
Just to reiterate, the big difference is that permanently withdrawn means no valid agreement, temporarily withdrawn means there’s still an agreement. So hands OFF!
So what is the most common mistake? Not enough research! It’s not as simple as searching for expired listings and sending out letters. There’s another important step that needs to be done. Checking to see if that property has already been re-listed.
Yep, just because the listing expired doesn’t mean it’s available for another agreement. The same company may have re-listed it under a new agreement and new MLS number, or another company may have it now. But check before you send that seller your information.
Here’s an easy way to do it: click the parcel ID on the listing or the history link on the search results page. These two links will find all MLS entries for that property based on the parcel ID. So if it’s been relisted, you should see it. Then you know not to send that seller a post card or flyer or whatever marketing method you choose to use.
It wouldn’t hurt to take two more steps. Also search by address, and check the agent notes on the expire listing. It may be that the seller has decided not to sell or has rented the property. And being bombarded by calls or mailings from other agents will probably not be welcome.
Keep in mind too that contacting an owner who is already working with another Realtor could get you a Code of Ethics complaint, so please be careful.
If you have any questions about the MLS, please call us at 850-244-2411, or email email@example.com.
If you have any questions about the Code of Ethics, please call our Professional Standards administrator, Stephanie White, at 850-243-6145, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of REALTORS
Fort Walton Beach, FL