How To Sell Cancelled Real Estate And Expired Luxury Listings In Beverly Hills

Signing on to represent an expired listing or a property that failed to sell before the listing’s expiration date is not something every real estate agent eagerly undertakes. After all, an expired listing may signal a problematic property, difficult sellers or an unpredictable market. However, for top Beverly Hills agent Paul Salazar, rebranding expired or canceled listings is not a chore but rather closer to an art form.

Thanks to an astute and tested strategy devised over the course of an accomplished career, Salazar has closed a number of expired listings, many of which were multimillion-dollar sales. The longtime Hilton & Hyland agent says that a listing’s failure to sell is often due to poor marketing, salesmanship and presentation on the part of the agent. “A lot of the time, the agent is the biggest reason why a house doesn’t sell. In a city market that’s neutral or a shifting market, you really have to know what you are doing, and you have to showcase the house in the right way for the right buyer.”

The luxury specialist recently sat down to discuss how to repackage canceled listings properly and why he has succeeded where other have fallen short. Here are his tips for rebranding a luxury property for a sale.


What is a simple mistake you see agents making that leads to a nonsale?

Availability is really important—being an agent who is available to show a property any day of the week is essential because salesmanship goes a long way. There are a lot of markets with lock-box or [Supra eKey], where the listing agent doesn’t even show up, and when you’re selling luxury properties that’s a huge mistake. You have to be there and know how to tour the home in a certain way so that the buyer can really absorb it and get excited because as the listing agent you should know everything from the big selling points to the small details.

That goes for video too. A lot of agents just send over a videographer to do a walkthrough of the house and consumers are getting no direction on what they’re looking at. So, being in the video, walking the buyer through, talking about the house, the location and the schools. Getting them excited through the video is important in today’s market.

What are some simple changes agents could make to a home’s online presence to improve the chances of selling an expired listing?

I think the analogy is used a lot in real estate, but selling a house is in many ways like dating and, just like dating, first impressions are incredibly important. Today’s buyers are finding properties online and, after filtering for price and size and maybe location, they’re going to go off of the first photo. So, what we do is we rotate the top five images every two to three weeks because if the consumer doesn’t like the photo, they won’t click on the listings. If you rotate the main photo, then you’re giving the house from different angles, and you’ll have another chance of getting a potential buyer that previously didn’t click to click on the listing. You get to have multiple first impressions.

Do you approach marketing an expired listing differently than a newly listed property?

No. When it comes to marketing, I always do everything. I do photo, video and property websites. I do a high-end brochure that features photos that are going to pop out. I do email blasts, social ads, print ads and any media coverage, if possible. I use YouTube, Instagram, Google―anything that can promote the house. The execution differs from property to property, but I always utilize all methods to market.

With expired listings, the focus is how do I make this house look different than it did for the last six months or, even in some cases, 10 years. I always look back to see what the other agent did and try to find holes in the marketing. Then, in some cases, it’s not the marketing but the condition of the home, and you have to do some light renovation.

In your experience, what updates to the condition of a home have the most impact?

Painting is going to be the cheapest and easiest way to make a house look neutral because the general consensus is that you don’t want to make anything too specific. What works for one buyer may not work for another, so you try to paint with neutral colors to reach the masses.

After that, updating small fixtures throughout the house like cabinet knobs, lighting or faucets. That all might seem expensive but it can be for a low cost and, if done correctly, it can make a world of difference.

Apart from renovation, what other ways can a seller improve the appeal of their home?

The best investment for the majority of sellers is going to be staging. Not just any staging, though. You have to find the right stager that’s going to best suit your particular house and your particular market. You’re not going to find the same buyer in Venice Beach as you would in Bel-Air, so you wouldn’t use the same type of staging.

It all comes back to understanding the buyer profile and then making adjustments to the marketing and presentation of the home to fit that consumer.

Hilton & Hyland is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes. Search more luxury listings here.


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