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Are short sale listings still an untapped gold mine?

Sometimes I sit back at the end of a day or a week and I think, “What happened? When did I get so busy? When did I get so popular?” And, I know that it must be the short sales because I certainly wasn’t the belle of the ball in high school.

When I hear agents around the water cooler complaining that they do not have enough business, I wonder whether they have yet to embrace the short sale. In 2007, I woke up one day and had this epiphany. I realized that short sales were a gold mine—that all the traditional seller stalls and objections that plagued the listing appointment in the early 2000s were gone.

Traditional Seller Stalls and Objections

Long gone was the conversation about the listing price. Because a short sale seller does not net any money at the end of the transaction, then there is no need to haggle over the list price. Ultimately, the price of the subject property is decided (or ratified) by the seller’s lien holder. So, why make it a huge bone of contention in the listing appointment?

Also, long gone from the listing appoint are conversations about agent commission. The commission is being paid for from the short sale lender’s net, and has to be approved by the short sale lender. So, as a bone of contention in the listing appoint, the topic of commission should be almost completely wiped out.

Here’s Motivation to Take Short Sale Listings

With our national unemployment rate still somewhere around nine percent and not expected to return to normal levels until something like 2017, there have got to be tons and tons of borrowers who need the help of a qualified short sale agent right here, right now.

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If you are one of those folks who wants to be busier and is considering embracing the short sale, now is the time to do so.

I’ve written countless articles on Agent Genius that will equip you with an arsenal of information so that you can feel more comfortable working this niche market.

Here are a few of my faves:
How to Select the Right Price for Your Short Sale Listing

Equator Now Used by More Short Sale Lenders

Only the Magic Mirror Knows the Answer to this Short Sale Question

Short Sale Negotiations – Kardashian Style

Photo: flickr creative commons by covilha

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Written By

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®, and Chief Executive Officer of Transaction 911. Before landing in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Most recently, she has been able to use her teaching and organizational skills while traveling the world over—dispelling myths about the distressed property market, engaging and motivating real estate agents, and sharing her passion for real estate. When she isn’t speaking or writing, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.



  1. Brad Officer - Jacksonville Short Sale Agent

    October 11, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Melissa, I'm with you! I still get excited every time a new short sale customer tells me, "I had no idea what a short sale was or that this option was even available". There is so much opportunity for agents who want to help homeowners and have the knowledge base to do so.

  2. Teresa Boardman

    October 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Not to mention getting the opportunity to sell the listing three or four times as one buyer after another backs out because they can't wait more than three or four months for an answer. I have to say though I would rather represent the seller than the buyer and I like that this is being written by someone who actually does short sales instead of one of those experts that knows what we should do.

  3. Margaret Powell

    October 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    I definitely think short sales is a great source of business. I tried prospecting short sale listings a few months back by sending mailers but found difficulty getting in touch with the sellers. Many times once the sheriff's sale date has been set, the sellers have already moved out leaving no forwarding address to get a hold of them. Any thoughts on how to get face to face with the sellers?

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