Last Updated on March 27, 2024

What Does Expired Listing Mean? | Real Estate Definition

By Alan F Macdonald

What is an Expired Listing?

In real estate, all listings have a time frame – they are listed for a specific period of time. When that time runs out on a listing, it is expired.

On the MLS system, an expired listing status is shown as “X.”

Real Estate Agent Explains Expired Listings

All MLS listings contracts have a term – the seller agrees to put the home up for sale for a certain length of time. After that time is over, the listing is over and the time frame has expired. Listings must be at least 60 days as per the MLS system rules – anything less is really not enough time to sell a property and isn’t worth the hassle.

A listing may remain active for as long as the seller and real estate agent agree to it. Some listings can be more than 3 years! Some homes take longer to sell than others (especially very expensive homes). Also, some listings expire only to be renewed by the seller with the same real estate agent or a different one. In the case of a renewal, a listing will get a new MLS number as well.

Listings expiring is only one of many ways a property goes from active to inactive. Other ways include cancelling, withdrawing or selling a listing.

Why Does it Matter?

Expired listings are no longer on the MLS system, so they should not appear in any online content after they are expired. A different real estate agent cannot call on an expired listing to try to get business from the seller – this is prohibited. A buyer’s agent may approach the agent of an expired listing to see if the person may change their mind about relisting their home. Many listings expire for many different reasons, but the most common reason a listing expires is because its asking price was too high and it didn’t sell as a result. To find out more on why homes don’t sell, read The 5 Biggest Mistakes Home Sellers Make. Often, expired listings say a lot about how much sellers feel their home is worth – and how many sellers (and their agents) are incorrect about the value of those particular homes.

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