Question Details

Jim Olive, Real Estate Pro in Key West, FL

Chasing Expireds: Our version of ambulance chasing?

Asked by Jim Olive, Key West, FL Sat Jun 2, 2012

Chasing expireds...I know a lot of agents have made their career on just that, but it seems like ambulance chasing to me. The ambulance chasers are the ones who gave the lawyers a large part of their bad reputation, isn't that the same here? All too often sellers who are frustrated with market conditions or any of a number of things that are keeping their house from selling are preyed upon by vultures who convince them it's their agent, just so they can get a shot. I'm sure sometimes it is the agent, but it seems sleezy to me. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Jared and Amanda Christiansen’s answer
Last week we closed a home that was listed with two agents previously. It was simply not at the right price point to sell. I heard that sometimes the second are third agent are the ones that make the sale. We don't actively pursue expireds, but it is an idea we have thought about.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
It is quite easy to understand your sentiment regarding 'chasing' expireds.
Others express the same dislike for practices such as door knocking.
Some express dislike for those investor types who blanket the area with low-ball offers on homes they have never seen using the 40 to 1 math model. I guess there is much to dislike for those looking for things to dislike.

However, for the most part, expired have more to do with the cost of guilt and pride than anything else. These two emotional wounds lead people into making costly, if not irrational, decisions.

A fresh face with the right message can be source of RELIEF!

As a professional solutions provider, I don't withhold the services I can provide because of the failure to deliver of others. A better view of this can be the old lock and key model. Every one has a that part of their mind that is bolted shut and secured with a lock. Only the few possessing the key will ever be able to reveal that persons treasure. But, until you try your key, the treasure of one life may never be released. Doesn't sound sleezy to me, but more of a professional duty.

Why would you cling tightly to the life preserver a drowning person needs? Some actually act in such a way that can only be interpreted as, "When the drowning pull themselves aboard the vessel I will hand them my preserver willingly."

Of course, there is always those who have sleezy intent. This note was not intended for them.
Best of success to you.
Annette Lawrence
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 2, 2012
Hi Jim,

in many ways I agree with you; however it is a needed process and I have known several agents that have done well with it. I dont do it and most likely wont unless there is a good reason too. I thnk many of the comments here are very valid though and many times i think it is the unrealistic seller that causes these frustrating situations and agents that will take listings not matter how realistic they are or not.

Agents who didnt do the job are as guilty of giving us a bad name as ones who get the job done (ambulance chasing). Just my two cents worth. Personally I am glad they are out there doing it because I hate dealing with clients who are mad at the world because thier agent did not perform as promised. Takes thick skin :O)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
By the way, I didn't mean to imply that you employ that tactic, Bill, I know you were just throwing it out there as a thought-provoking similar practice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
Some excellent points here, thanks to all. Bill, you ask about over-pricing a listing for the purpose of getting THAT is sleazy! Seems to me, it's better to be brutally honest with the seller as to price. If you don't get the listing, that's ok, because it's not going to sell at an inflated price designed only to satisfy the seller anyway. And there's nothing worse than having a listing that you know is never going to sell!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
Personally, I don't pursue expired listings and I have no problem with those that do. Many agents are very successful at it but it's just not my thing. I would hope though that those agents who do cold call expireds are not straight-out putting down and denigrating the efforts of the previous agent. Wouldn't that be a ethics violation?

Broker Associate, GRI
Lang Realty
9858 Clint Moore Road
Boca Raton, FL 33496
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
It all boils down to what the agent wants to do, and have the skills set to do.

I don't and haven't pursued expireds.....but I've known people who were/are successful at it. m Nothing wrong with asking sellers if they would consider a new agent. After all, if you don't ask, you'll never know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
Football teams change quarterbacks at half time when the offense isn't moving, sometimes a seller can benefit from the same tactic. I don't see marketing to expireds as sleazy - a client exists who needs to be served. It's not my target market, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
for the most part an expired listing can be attributed to an unrealistic seller. The seller is agitated before you get thruogh the door, I work mostly by referral and find a few expired listings call me.

Some sellers look for who has the most signes in the street when they list. Rather than looking to see who has signs comming down. Many agents are afraid of not getting a listing if they give a client realistic numbers and time frames. The seller chooses a price way to high and then gets mad at the agent for not selling it.

I would rather have 30 satisfied clients then 100 listing with unhappy sellers. A strong reputation will always keep food on the table.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
I don't believe the source of a listing changes much. Like it or not, expeired listings very often represent a time of the owner coming to an understanding that an adjustment needs to be made in order to sell their home. Adjustments come in the form of different companies, marketing plans, pricing, etc.

If handled in a professional manner without "throwing anyone else under the bus" persuing expried listings can be percieved as providing a service wher one is needed.

I would propose that if homes were initially priced in accordance with current local market activity that there may be fewer expired listings for "ambulance chasers" to follow.

What are your thoughts on over pricing a listing to for the purpose of getting the listing?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 3, 2012
It just depends on the situation. I believe Annette wrote it best.

Sometimes an expired listing may have not gotten the necessary intention. for example, a lot of expireds have one or no picture which means very limited exposure on and other sites. Some are short sales listing that are not handle by agents experienced in this process are priced to low.

I do not believe it is sleazy unless you are doing some unethical practices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 2, 2012
Too true , Some sellers wont price the property to sell with the first agent then they go ahead and reduce with the second and it sells instantly.......That really hurts after the first agent worked hard towards that goal initially without success. So is it the Agent 's fault the customer was not satisfied? Not in most cases................
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 2, 2012
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