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6 Ways to Find Expired Real Estate Listings & Score a Bargain


Using a premium tool like this gives you a supercharged version of an ordinary search on Zillow or the MLS, packed with all kinds of additional data not found in the public listing. Access isn’t free, but the information they provide can give you everything you need to identify and negotiate great deals from expired listings. Consider using a free trial to take premium software for a test drive before you commit.


Reaching Out to Owners of Expired Listings

Finding expired real estate listings is half the battle. The next step is to reach out to the contact list of sellers to try to close a deal.

After all the effort you’ve put into finding promising expired listings, you’ll want to make the most of each lead and maximize your chances of negotiating a successful sale.

It’s time to put on your sales and marketing cap. Rather than reaching out haphazardly, you’ll want to employ a marketing strategy thought out in advance.

The easiest way to reach out to the leads you collect from expired listings is to send direct mail marketing pieces or postcards to the homeowners. You can include your name and contact information and explain that you wish to discuss purchasing the property whose listing recently expired. If you can, follow these marketing messages up with direct phone calls and/or text messages. This is an inexpensive way to try to shake out the lowest hanging fruit—motivated sellers eager for potential buyers.

I’d recommend preparing to go one step further in your marketing efforts, however. Go the extra mile and put together a full expired listing packet you can send to the best leads you find from expired listings. Make this a robust kit of information you can send to each lead that explains who you are, what you can offer, and how working with you could benefit them.

Remember, the recipient of these packets will have recently failed to sell their property, and now you’re contacting them out of the blue. You may need to include a price range to help convince the owner to respond to your inquiry. Include glowing testimonials if you have them. You also might describe your experience in the real estate industry or with investing in homes in the same neighborhood or price range, include your assessment of the current market conditions, and explain how you evaluate and price property.

Sooner or later you’ll likely need to talk to these homeowners directly to iron out the details and arrive at a purchase price. Be prepared with a brief sales script that includes your pitch and presents your offer, and have ready responses to common objections.


FAQ About Expired Property Listings

Here are a few questions I hear all the time about expired real estate listings. 

Can I find expired listings on Zillow?

Unfortunately there’s no filter on Zillow specifically for expired listings. However you can filter for days on the market, and reach out to properties that have been on the market for a long time. When those listings disappear without a sale, consider them expired listings and reach out to the owner.

What does it mean when a real estate listings says expired?

When home sellers sign an exclusive right to sell agreement with a real estate agent to list their home for sale, it comes with an expiration date. If the property fails to sell by that date, the listing expires and comes off the market. It displays as “expired” on the MLS. Homeowners can also pull the listings off the market before the expiration date if they get frustrated with the lack of movement. 

What are the best ways to find expired real estate listings?

The easiest way to find expired listings is to work with a Realtor with direct acces to the MLS. But you have other options as well, outlined above.


Final Thoughts

Expired listings can offer real estate investors excellent opportunities, but they also present challenges. Apart from the above-average difficulty in finding these listings in the first place, real estate investors must be able to assess the reasons behind the property’s previous failure to sell. And successfully turning expired listings into profitable real estate deals requires the skills of a salesperson: you must be able to effectively contact, persuade, and negotiate with sellers directly.

Remember that persistence is key when looking for expired listings. Not all expired listings will result in successful deals—you’ll probably need to contact dozens of leads for every property you close. Having a clear business plan for approaching and negotiating with motivated sellers will help you maximize your chances of success.


How do you plan find expired real estate listings? What strategies have you used successfully in the past?



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