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The Best Expired Listing Letter (With Examples)

Use these expired listing letter examples—and a few pro tips—to turn an expired listing into a golden opportunity.

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As a realtor, you’re under pressure to sell a property for the right price as efficiently as possible. And between your agency, your client, and the market, the pressure can come from lots of different angles.

But pressure doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, some people thrive on it! So, let’s look on the bright side and tackle a realtor’s biggest headache: the expired listing letter.

We’ll look at what they are, how to write them, and some ways you can use the perfect expired listing letter to bring in leads.

What Is an Expired Listing?

An expired listing is exactly what it sounds like—a property listing that has gone past the time limit set for it to sell.

When you list a property, it receives a specific time frame for selling. Once that time frame runs out, the listing expires. The listing limit must be at least 60 days, but some properties have limits that last years.

So, what happens when a listing expires? Well, a couple of things:

  • First, you remove the listing from the MLS (multiple listing service system) and anywhere else it’s listed online. 
  • Next, the seller needs to decide if they want to stick with you to re-list the property or switch agents.

There are also a few common misconceptions non real-estate folks have about expired listings. 

So, let’s discuss what an expired listing is not. An expired listing is not damaged property, “unsellable,” a withdrawn listing, or, most importantly….haunted.

What To Do When A Listing Agreement Expires

When a listing expires, every realtor goes into damage-control mode. The client, who has been through countless open houses, showings, and stagings, won’t be happy about the setback. 

The good news? This frustration can create an opportunity for you as a competing agent. You can now swoop in and convince the seller why they should re-list with you.

To convince your potential client why they should switch, you need to ease their fears. But you also need to figure out why the property didn’t sell. Ask yourself:

  • Was the price set too high? 
  • Will the house sell for less than the debt owed on it? 
  • Was the property missing something?

Once you spot an expired listing, how do you turn that seller into your client? 

Most often, realtors send what’s called an “expired listing letter.”

How To Write The Best Expired Listing Letter

Think of your letter like a sales pitch. It’s your official intro to the client and your best shot at a great first impression. But it’s not the only step you should take to close the deal. It’s always best practice to follow up.

However, a well-crafted letter will do plenty to get your foot in the door. 

There are a few things that the letters have in common:

  • Punctuality: The best letters are sent the day a listing expires or the very next day. Bonus if you include something extra with your letter, like a small treat or gift card.
  • A strong call to action: Give the potential client a clear and reasonable next step. This might sound like, “Please call or text me if you’re interested, I’d love to grab a coffee and discuss opportunities moving forward.”
  • An emotional appeal: As we mentioned, expired listings can leave property owners discouraged. An empathetic tone in your letter will help it come across as helpful.
  • Free market report: Give your potential client some insight into what went wrong with their first listing. This will put them at ease and give them the confidence to try again with you by their side.
  • Marketing plan outline: Right before you end your letter, you want to wrap things up by going over your marketing plan. Tell the seller how/what you will do differently when advertising their listing. This includes plans for social media ads, website updates, local advertising, or more showings.

Let’s get inspired with a few examples of real expired listing letters in action.

Expired Listing Letter Examples

One of the best expired listing letter examples we’ve come across is from the experts over at Easy Agent Pro

Read through the letter and follow along with the sections. From there, we’ll break it down a little further.

Example of an expired listing letter template (from Easy Agent Pro).

As this example demonstrates, a letter doesn’t have to be pages and pages to get your point across. In fact, it shouldn’t extend beyond one page. 

The expired listing letter example above shows how to work emotion into the introduction by empathizing with the buyer about their property not selling. This realtor also establishes their status and knowledge of the area at the same time. That’s a great way to instill confidence.

From there, the realtor previews how they plan to market the home. This includes hard numbers that show the success of their methods. 

Finally, they end with a call to action. In this example, the realtor chose to instill a sense of urgency with their CTA. That’s a completely personal choice.

As you’ll see with the other expired listing letter examples we’ll share below, each letter varies based on the voice of the realtor. Here’s a conversational example written by Finger Lakes Realtor and Copywriter Don Stevens and submitted to Fit Small Business.

Start a Casual Conversation

In this example, notice the friendly, casual tone the writer uses while giving all the necessary information.

Short But Effective

If you’re looking for something a little shorter, check out this one written by Secretsoftopsellingagents.com.

Anatomy of an Expired Listing Letter

So, next time you saddle up to your keyboard and start writing an expired listing letter, just remember to include:

  • An empathetic introduction
  • A description of the homeowner’s sales issue
  • Your marketing plan (what you plan to do to solve the issue)
  • Your call to action

Throw in some special touches like a hand delivery, or small gift, and you’ll be on the road to re-list in no time!

How to Reach Out to Expired Listings

For your letter to do its job, you first need to decide how to reach out to expired listings. 

MLS

This is the easiest method for most realtors. You most likely already have access. The system lets you search expired listings by area. Then you can use your favorite CRM tool to keep track of communication with these leads.

Cold Calls

This is a classic way to connect with leads. Calling sellers with expired listings is often faster and more personal than other methods. Your seller may appreciate the extra effort on your part. (More on expired listing scripts below.)

Texting

You’ve found some leads through your MLS or another resource. Now you can take advantage of text messages and their high open rates to get in contact with sellers quickly and effortlessly.

Email

Emails are a communication method most people are comfortable with. You can paste your expired listing letter in and hit “send” in no time. Email is also a good medium for connecting with lots of leads at once.

Snail Mail

Sending a letter by mail is an often-overlooked option in our tech-obsessed society. That said, snail mail is a good way to catch your seller’s eye because it’s unusual. Just make sure your letter looks professional and polished. 

Networking

Do you have a good network of realtors in your area? If so, you can negotiate with other agents to swap expired listing leads for a commission or other opportunity.

Local Advertising

Consider putting up flyers in local businesses around the community you serve. These can bring you sellers who haven’t started reaching out to other agents yet. Meeting people where they are is always a good idea for building trust.

After you figure out your favorite method to use when prospecting for expired listings, you’ll need to consider your expired listing scripts.

Expired Listing Scripts

If you decide to call expired listings, you’ll need to work on what to say. An expired listing script makes this step a breeze. 

Here’s a great example of an expired listing script by Mike Ferry that will help the interaction go smoothly:

Source: theredx.com

Need more inspiration? Check out these other expired listing scripts.

FAQs About Expired Listings and Expired Listing Scripts

Got more questions on expired listings? Here are a few easy answers to get you started:

What happens when a listing agreement expires?

When a listing agreement expires, you remove the listing from the MLS and—usually—all online content. Then, the seller must decide if they will re-list the property with the same real estate agent or choose another. 

How do I follow up with expired listings?

You can follow up with expired listings however you prefer to! Options include reaching out with emails, phone calls, letters, or local advertisements. These are all effective ways to get in touch with sellers who have expired listings.

Do expired listing letters work?

Expired listing letters work if you do them right. If you come across as genuine, professional, and able to help, sellers are eager to have your help in re-listing their property. 

What is the best way to write an expired listing letter?

The best way to write an expired listing letter is to use a good template and put your own spin on it. This approach will help you hit all the right points while sticking to your unique voice.

For more real estate marketing tips and tricks, check out our text marketing guide to real estate.

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