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Short sale negotiation tactic- not sounding like a vuvuzela

I have just returned from a two week vacation to Mexico—smack dab in the middle of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It’s great to see how another country’s residents experience fútbol, and it was quite different then any soccer experience in the United States.

When the game was on (particularly if Mexico was playing), people were crowded around small televisions in tiny shops throughout Mexico City. A city that is world famous for insane traffic jams had roads that were almost completely empty at game time.

Not many folks in Mexico complained much about the vuvuzela, the plastic blowing horn that creates a monotone sound that drones so much during the games that it begins to wear on the ears a little. The vuvuzela, however, seems to be quite the topic for residents of the United States. I’ve read lots of blog posts and articles that contain peoples’ opinions about this horn, and these opinions are primarily negative.

When negotiating short sales and speaking to mortgage lenders, you want to be easy on the ears. Your goal is to obtain a positive resolution to your client’s (the seller’s) negative situation and to receive a short sale approval letter in order to close as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The way to do that is NOT to blow a monotone horn constantly in the ear of the mortgage lender. While some may feel that this technique is effective, it may only be effective in the short term. If you plan to work multiple short sales, you might rather whisper sweet nothings in the ear of your mortgage lender. Send kind emails, leave pleasant phone messages, return documents quickly and efficiently and confirm their receipt in a professional manner. Professional behavior such as this will go a long way towards establishing a great relationship with the mortgage lender.

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If you need to ‘escalate’ a file or make a complaint, there is no need to blow the vuvuzela even louder. Make the call, send the email, and convey your message clearly and succinctly.

In all the short sales that I have closed (and I am talking about hundreds here), I have only once found it necessary to name names and blow a loud horn—and even then I did not blow so loud as to cause deafness. I draw the line when someone humiliates, bullies, or uses inappropriate language when speaking with me or my staff.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup is coming to a close with the finals on July 11, 2010. If you have been following the games, there have been some unexpected wins and losses. No matter the game, you can hear the strong blowing of the horn in the background. And… that is exactly where it needs to stay—at the game where it symbolizes the exhilaration of the fans.

After the World Cup is over, will your own short sale negotiations sound like a blaring horn to the mortgage lender? I sure hope not.

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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. Miami Condo Shop

    July 6, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Nice post… and even better segueway and analogy. Blowing a loud horn won’t get you anywhere in any business. Mortgage lenders are not among the nicest people around and you don’t want to piss them off. Our industry is all about building rapport…show class, have pride, display character and your career will go a long way and reap great rewards.

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