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What is the difference between Expired, Cancelled, and Withdrawn Leads

As a real estate agent or investor prospecting, you will encounter three types of off-market leads while working with sellers. Expired, Cancelled, and Withdrawn leads all have been removed from the active market for various reasons and these statuses can tell you not only how they were removed. 

Knowing this is very helpful, but understanding the definition of each type of status can also help you better understand the seller’s motivation and give you a greater opportunity to convert these leads into clients.

Expired vs. Cancelled vs. Withdrawn

Each new listing goes under contract with an agent for agreed upon term. However, if the property does not sell, it will be moved back into an off-market status. Let’s look at the three most common types.

Expired Listings – For most Realtors prospecting seller leads, these are the gold standard leads. A listing with “expire” at the end of the agreed upon initial term if it does not sell. These listings are desirable as prospects, because the owner obviously still has motivation to sell the home or they would have removed it prior to the expiration date. These sellers have already raised their hand and said “I need to sell” and have been unsuccessful but in almost all cases will wind up relisting their home soon after their expiration date.

Cancelled Listings – In the case a listing gets cancelled, the seller and listing agent have agreed to terminate (occasionally these are referred to as Terminated) the listing contract before the term comes to full cycle. In the vast majority of the cases, cancelled listings will relist soon after cancellation. 

When building rapport with cancelled listings sellers it will be important to uncover why the listing was removed. It is possible that something like a loss of job family emergency made it necessary to indefinitely remove the home from the market. In these cases, it is important to understand what could change that situation and the possible timeframe. 

Another common reason is a disagreement in the between agent and owner on staging, marketing, or pricing. Ensure that you understand, why the owner decided to end the agreement and help them understand how you can rectify the issue.

Withdrawn Listings – The final category can have several different meanings and is determined by your area. The main difference is that in most cases these properties are still under contract with the listing agents. They have temporarily removed the home in-order to address issues with the property such as the roof, flooring, or air conditioning. After repairs are made, the property is placed back on the market under the same agreement. In this situation, prospecting these listings is prohibited by local board regulations.

In other areas, withdrawn listings are “released” from their contract and are now essentially cancelled and open to new agents to help the owner sell their property. 

Expired leads for real estate are the most consistent source of seller leads available to all agents and investors so understanding why they were removed from the market is the first step in adding them to your listing inventory.