Based on your vast experiences, which is the best way to approach the seller directly once a listing expired ? Should I just send an email or call the seller directly and introduce myself and say I am interested in buying the property ?
The term of a listing is negotiable, it is not set. One cannot tell how long a listing has been on the market on public sites, only through the MLS.
Listing agreements have starting and ending dates. Once the listing has expired the seller is free to do as they chose. You should know that it is a somewhat common tactic for buyers to wait until a listing expires, then approach the seller directly so they can avoid the cost of paying a commission and deal with the seller directly.
Although this is legal, there are some factors of which you should be aware:
Realtors work very hard to market listings, and a well-publicized listing will generate a lot of interest. A properly prepared, marketed, and price listing in most markets will sell for top dollar within the first few weeks. The longer a listing sits, the lower the sales price to list price ratio is. In my MLS homes that sell in the first 30 days average about 99.43% of asking price. At 120 days that falls to 90.68%.
So if a home does not sell in the first month (only about 20%-25% on average do ), that means that 75% - 80% sit there and accumulate market time. While accumulating market time sharp Realtors have figured out that the seller is either unwilling or unable to lower the price to attract the right buyer, so they track who is contacting them about the listing.
This list of buyers, Realtors, and Brokers is known as the "protected list". In most cases the listing agreement has a section in which the Realtor is required to provide the seller with this list upon expiration of the listing agreement. If a buyer contacts the seller, and learned about the listing from ANY of these listed sources, then regardless of whether the seller opts to ask their Realtor to handle the sale, the seller will have to pay commission to the Realtor.
As you can imagine, a sharp Realtor, who has a listing in which they have invested a great deal of time, energy, expertise, and money, will KNOW if the seller is not really serious about selling and will diligently track, gather the contacts, then watch the listing AFTER it expires.
The other truth is that IF a seller needs to sell, and the listing expires, they will list it again. However, in the case of a home that you want to buy, once it expires, you could have your Realtor contact the former listing agent and ask them if the seller still wants to sell. Sometimes a seller is unable to be convinced that their property is over-priced, but once the listing expires, they finally understand that if they are serious about selling, they need to get serious about pricing the property.
So if your Realtor did call the listing agent with an inquiry, the listing agent would expect to have a low offer coming in...
Happy New Year!
In order for a REALTOR to continue to advertise a property, we must have a valid contract. Once the contract is terminated, we are not permitted to advertise the home.