Why Listings Expire

It’s frustrating. You have these plans to upsize/downsize your home or take a new job in another area. You're excited, you list your property and months later there's no sold sign; just an expired listing and an apologetic REALTOR®!

So why do listings expire? For the past two years, as the graph above shows, we have been in a buyers market with anywhere between 10-15% of active listings selling. Looking at it another way, that means that 85-90% of listings are likely to expire. But even when we move into balanced or sellers' markets, there still will be a percentage of listings that expire for a variety of reasons.

While there appear to be many marketing systems in real estate, there really are only two different models that are effective: transactional and relational. 

Transactional systems are basically listing generating "machines" whose focus is on massive promotional efforts to ensure a steady flow of new listings. These are REALTOR® centric in that the agent makes a good living based on most of the listings selling. It also means massive promotions (full page ads, internet promotions, etc) that ultimately cost a great deal to be effective in gaining attention from potential buyers. One of the bonuses for transactional based REALTOR® is this mass promotion also creates the illusion that its purpose is to sell these listings.

The relational or trusted advisor approach focuses on the client needs with the objective that 100% of the REALTOR®'s clients will meet their relocation objectives and sell their home. The latter approach relies heavily on the REALTOR® reaching today's buyers where they are actually looking for real estate. It also relies on satisfied clients referring the REALTOR® to friends and family, so resources are spent meeting clients' needs rather than promoting for new client business.

There may be an inclination to think that discount fee brokers are a third business model. Where the transactional based model uses massive promotion, including full page ads, to attract business, the discount broker approach uses the promise of cheap fees as the hook to get the seller's attention. In practice, the fees are very often re-negotiated at the time of an offer, and more often than not sees a very high rate of expired listings. For example, in one area of Langley in 2012, a well-known discount brokerage experienced 56% expiry rate. So, in effect, they are just another transactional model.

Over the years, we have found the full service, trusted advisor model has served our clients best. With the goal of 100% success ratio, it means constant communication and feedback with clients and superior negotiating skills to get the job done. This hands on approach is what separates us from other agents out there and we are proud of our success rates. Our clients tell us that they refer their friends to us for this very reason! When you use this system, listings are less likely to expire, sell more quickly and leave our clients happy! In the rare instance one of our listings does not sell - it hurts because we will have put a tremendous amount of time and resources into trying to accomplish our client's goals.

Our focus is on telling people what they need to hear to be successful in selling their home; not what they want to hear to get their listing.