Expired Listing Phone Calls
I own a couple of rental houses that I have rented out over the past 10 years. Income property is a good way to diversify your portfolio if you can handle the management yourself. Last year I lost a long term tenant at a single family home I own on Shenandoah Valley Road. My tenant had been a graduate student at Emory School of Theology and she took a job at a church in Orlando Florida in their social justice. Program. She was one of those dear people who is missed by everyone when they make a move.
So – I had a vacant rental property and put it on the market. As per my usual plan I put it up “for rent” and “for sale” simultaneously. It took a little longer than usual to find a tenant. Once I had signed a new lease the “for sale” listing only had a couple of weeks to run so I let it “expire out” rather than withdraw it from the FMLS and GAMLS systems.
Unintentionally – I became the owner of an “Expired Listing”. I started getting expired listing phone calls from agents and their lackeys almost immediately. The first morning the listing expired I had maybe 4 or 5 phone calls from legitimate real estate agents who work the area and did not recognize I was an “owner-agent” even though this was clearly spelled out in the listing itself. A lot of agents make their living calling expired listings and persuading the seller to switch the listing over to the new agent. The English Team does not do expired listing phone calls as we get most of our listings as referrals from past clients. But hey – somebody has to sell used cars, right?
No harm no foul on the first day of expired listing phone calls. I told the callers I was a real estate agent myself and no I was not interested in listing the home for sale with them.
For about a week I continued to get a steady stream of phone calls. Then it started to get interesting. I started getting phone calls from “finders”. These are people real estate agents hire to call expired listings to see if they can get a “bite”. If the person whose house did not sell shows any interest whatsoever – the “finder” immediately has the real live agent person call. I personally find this a bit scammy. I started to get a bit snarky with these callers. NONE of them had looked at the MLS listing. They were calling from a list generated by a service that provides this expired listing info for sale.
Two months later I am still getting calls. I have started to “poke the cage” a bit now. Real estate agents are telling me how they have “improved marketing techniques” and use “buyer prospecting systems” that are “sure to sell your home”. They use a lot of big words and make it sound like they have a computer that spits out buyers – but only after they have listed the property.
This kind of selling makes me angry. The English Team uses very sophisticated marketing tools to sell our listings and we spend more in marketing than most real estate agents earn on an annual basis. Our technology is far superior to our competition – yet these agents are essentially lying to my face by telling me they have some “super secret” marketing formula that will sell the house in just a few days.
I have some advice for people looking for a real estate agent to sell their home
- Check the track record of the agent who is feeding you all this BS (and don’t take their word for it – one agent told me she sold 42 homes last year and she had sold less than 10).
- Check to see if they have professional credentials – CRS, GRI, ABR, etc.
- Are they a member of the National Association of Realtors – this is important because members actually have a code of ethics!
- Do they have reviews on the real estate data websites (Zillow, trulia, Realtor.com)
- Go to Realtor.com and see if they actually have any listings right now. Are they in your neighborhood or are they 50 miles away.
Sadly, there are some bad eggs in the real estate industry. Wish that were not true but my recent first hand experience with Expired Listing Phone Calls proves me wrong.