Expired listing scripts
Among the strategies for getting more listings, expired listings is commonly mentioned. It’s a polarizing topic with agents because, similar to FSBOs, cold outreach to sellers with expired listings isn’t always pleasant. The prickly nature of these prospects turns off many agents, however, there are many agents that have quietly used expired listing strategies to win listing after listing…and it’s those results, that we’re here to explore.
Turning sellers’ assumptions and anxieties about realtors on their head requires more than just small talk and a smooth voice. It’s about demonstrating, that you’re not like the rest and genuinely invested in a seller’s success.
This is where using scripts can help. Not because these are the magic words that will win over every seller. Instead it’s because you’ll have the words ready for most every scenario and/or disgruntled seller’s objection. And while you may not recite these words verbatim, you will have concepts to pick from. And then you can focus on delivery and empathizing with your prospect.
We’ve also included videos of real estate sales superstars like Ricky Carruth and Brian Borino live cold calling expired listings so check it out!
So here’s a little roadmap on how we’re going to help you win over more sellers with expired listings scripts:
- What are expired listings?
- Expired listing scripts
- Scripts for Older Expireds (live cold calling video included!)
- Expired listing script for an ISA (live cold calling video included!)
- Expired listing objections
- General tips when using expired listing scripts
What are expired listings?
Expired listings refer to properties that were listed for sale on the real estate market but did not sell within the term of the listing agreement between the homeowner and the listing agent. When the agreement expires without the property being sold or the listing term not being extended, the property is taken off the market and becomes an “expired listing.”
Several reasons can lead to a listing becoming expired:
- Overpricing: The property might have been priced too high compared to its actual market value or similar homes in the area.
- Property Condition: The property might be in poor condition, making it less attractive to potential buyers.
- Ineffective Marketing: The listing agent may not have marketed the property effectively, resulting in fewer potential buyers being aware of the listing.
- Economic or Market Conditions: In slow real estate markets or economic downturns, listings are more likely to expire because fewer people are buying homes.
- Uncooperative Sellers: Sometimes sellers might be too restrictive about showing times, unwilling to negotiate, or hesitant to make necessary repairs, all of which can deter potential buyers.
Real estate agents often pursue expired listings as potential leads, believing that the homeowner might still be motivated to sell and might consider relisting with a new agent. Agents will approach homeowners of expired listings with the hope of securing a new listing agreement and successfully selling the property where the previous agent did not.
Expired listing scripts
We’re going to get into a bunch of expired listing scripts here as well as some videos that really capture the tone and style of executing the call, but remember these scripts are interchangeable and meant as a guide. You can modify and adjust as you see fit.
Here are a couple expired listing scripts from legendary coach, Tom Ferry.
This Tom Ferry script is specific to a very recently expired listing (ideally you’re calling the day after it expired).
Here’s an open ended expired script that you can use to get the conversation going in the right direction. You can add in a closing (confirming an appointment) that seems appropriate for the situation.
Tristan Ahumada from Lab Coat Agents, also has some great expired scripts. Here’s one that also includes a few common types of seller push-backs when trying to lock down the appointment.
Here we have Krista Schrader from Lab Coat Agents talking about Expired Scripts and how to dial in your approach to these calls so you can maximize success.
And here’s another script for expireds that’s similar to above but adds some more empathy before going in for the close.
If you haven’t heard of Brian Borino from Real Estate Rockstars, he’s a master of sales and scripting and his Real Estate Agent Development focused Facebook Group Real Estate Rockstars is a great resource in general. Here he introduces the concept of going after Expired Listings and how to approach these (often disgruntled) prospects for maximum impact.
And in this 2nd (much shorter) Borino video, he does a live cold call with an Expired listing seller…which demonstrates all the learnings from the above video.
Scripts for Cold Calling Older Expireds
Older expireds can be better opportunities because these sellers aren’t getting bombarded by as many agents and therefore may be more receptive to your message.
In this case Tristan details a script for older expireds.
Ricky Carruth is one of the masters of cold calling. This video is him live cold calling old expired listings. Great thing about this video is that (while it’s a long video) it’s not edited at all…so you can see what it’s really like to cold call expires listings. PLUS he answers questions from other agents while he’s doing it.
Scripts for ISAs calling Expired Listings
Some teams have inside sales reps (aka real estate ISA) dialing local expireds on their behalf. Here’s an expired listing script for an ISA to use. Keep in mind (especially for ISAs) this is a volume activity so they will need to get used to a fair amount of rejection.
Expired listing objections
Here are a few objection handlers to use when dealing with expired listings and the most common ways they may push back.
Already selected another agents: When the seller has already decided to list with another real estate agent your options to win the listing limited. BUT if they haven’t yet signed an agreement, you’ve still got a chance.
Planning to take the property off the market: If the seller has decided not to sell after the listing expired, try and learn more about their original motivation to sell and what changed. If their response is reaction-based or emotion driven, then try to get them to re-align with their original reason to sell…and convince them to take an appointment with you so you can explain why you’ll achieve the desired result.
Going to try and list the property themselves: We have a deep dive on FSBO scripts that have a lot of responses that you can use but here’s a quick response to a seller that’s looking to list the home on their own.
Frustrated with agents after this experience: Due to a negative experience, it’s common for sellers to feel disillusioned with real estate professionals. Go back to their motivation to sell (what HAD them thinking about selling the home in the first place?). Then set yourself apart and talk about results you’ve achieved.
Frustrated with you because you’re trying to help them only after their listing expired: Similar to above you want to remind them the reason they sold before…and set yourself apart and lead with the results you and your team have delivered.
Other expired listing objections:
Seller is going with the same agent as before.
Here’s how to address this:
a. What’s your agent going to do differently this time?
b. Did you receive any offers while the home was on the market?
c. Why didn’t those offers work out?
d. How many showings did you have?
e. What was the feedback from those showings?
Seller is going to rent the property instead.
Here’s how to address this:
a. Have you ever been a landlord before?
b. Are you comfortable writing up the appropriate contracts and handling those transactions?
c. Have you thought about having to go through the eviction process if the tenants don’t work out and what’s entailed?
d. Wouldn’t it make sense to…Sell the home…and avoid the hassle of potentially having to deal with an eviction or the repairs and upkeep of having someone you don’t know in the property? Great, That’s exactly why you should meet with one of my agents to discuss what needs to happen this time to get the property sold. What works best for you weekdays or weekends?
General tips for expired listing scripts and cold calling
Many agents swear that they do better without scripts…citing that scripts make people sound robotic and that prospects can sense that the conversation is a “scripted sales call” and get turned off. There maybe something to that so here are suggestions regardless of your position on using word for word scripting
Setting up for success with cold calling expired listings:
Timing is everything right? Well then time your expired calls to have the best chance for reaching the seller by calling weekday evenings (5pm-7:30pm) or mornings 7:45am-11am.
Also you’ll need numbers for expired listings: Thankfully, modern technology and specialized service providers present us with an abundance of resources. Key players in this space include powerhouses like Vulcan7 and RedX…and there are specialized services for this kind of data too.
Now it’s time to get your mind right and check your tone. When calling expired the tonality has to be right. It can’t be aggressive or forceful and it has to be natural and genuine. Before you begin your calls get yourself into the right mindset. Think of ways you can help the people that you are calling and make sure to listen.
Even if you hate scripts, consider a call structure for your expired listing outreach
Generally you want to get some basics right even if you’re freestyling your cold calling approach:
Delivering the perfect intro with expireds:
- Make sure you use their name. You don’t want to ask “is this _____?” They’ll know it’s a sales call and their guard will go up immediately.
- Name your brokerage in your intro “This is [your name] with [brokerage]. How are you this morning?” so they know you’re a real estate agent and you’re with a (hopefully) recognizable and reputable brokerage or real estate team.
Building up the conversation with 3 goals:
- Build rapport
- Find similarities. Find what the pain points were.)
- Respond to their emotion…not just their words
- Agree and affirm
- Tap into their original motivation for selling
- Do you still NEED to sell your house?
- May I ask where you are moving to?
- How soon do you need to be there?
- Why did you first put your home on the market?
- Establish your credibility – give specific facts whenever appropriate about your track record:
- How many of the expired listings you’ve sold?
- How many of your listings have expired this year compared to how many homes you’ve sold?
- How long has it been since a property of yours expired?
Use probing questions as the expired listing conversation unfolds:
- Why do YOU think that your home didn’t sell?
- How did you go about choosing the last agent you listed with?
- What did the agent do that you liked the best?
- What do you feel that they should have done?
- How many showings did you have? Did you receive any feedback from those?
- Did you receive any offers? How many?
- Why didn’t any of those offers work out?
Follow up after expired listing calls: the likelihood you set the appointment is slim. But the followup will be key. Here are some tips so you nail the follow up:
- Take notes on the key points gathered during the call:
- What was their biggest complaint
- Where did they want to go and what time frame
- Note the top three objections they had
- Follow up cadence:
- Any new lead that’s warm/hot needs to be called at least three times that week
- Continue to follow up weekly for the following 3-10 weeks.
- At 6 months and beyond follow up monthly
Expect a high percent of rejection but don’t be deterred:
After each call, remember to take a step back, shake off the negativity, and refocus your energy. Every new phone number, is a fresh start so don’t let your emotions from the last call intrude. Understanding your individual strengths and fine-tuning your approach based on feedback can turn these calls into your secret weapon. So, swing away with unbridled enthusiasm.
Navigating through expired listings cold calls is not for the timid…. but whether you go with a script or just a loose structure, we hope you’ve picked up a few nuggets to win over expired listing sellers.
Utilize these concepts where they make sense, hone your approach, and keep going with this quote in the back in your mind.
Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.Chris Grosser
So, step forward and be ready. Because you can either expect to win the trust of a seller who had a sub-par outcome OR expect yet another bitter seller to tell you to F*** off.
(Oh, and did we mention that rejection is a bit part of this process)
All kidding aside, winning over expired listings is completely possible. It’s just a matter of preparation, perseverance, and enduring positivity. Go forth and conquer some expireds!