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It’s All in the Details: The Short Sale Communication Log

The importance of good record keeping

With short sales, it’s the small details that can make or break the transaction. If you are only negotiating a few short sales, then you can probably manage quite a few details in your head. However, when you begin to work on twenty, thirty, or even forty at one time, remembering which negotiator is working on which file at what bank can be daunting.

There are many Realtors® who love negotiating short sales. These folks are probably fairly detailed-oriented and feel a great sense of accomplishment once they have received the short sale approval letter. Other agents want absolutely nothing to do with the details.

In a recent post about maintaining a daily routine, I discuss the short sale negotiation file. In this file, you need to keep a copy of the short sale package that you send to the bank, the preliminary title report, copies of mortgage statements, and any other documentation pertinent to the short sale (like property tax documents or HOA documents).

The most important part of the short sale negotiation file is the communication record or communication log. This log needs to document every single call that you make with regard to the short sale negotiation. Additionally, you need to log every fax or email that you send—keeping copies of your emails and fax confirmations tacked down in an organized manner.

Sometimes when you call a mortgage lender, they will ask you what you sent, when you sent it, and to what fax number. Having the fax confirmation handy is an easy way to address those questions quickly and efficiently.

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For those of you brave souls who are just beginning to tackle short sale negotiations, I’m providing a sample communication log. If you are doing your short sale negotiations ‘old school’ and writing everything down in a file folder, I recommend a log like this one. Of course, you could also create an Excel spreadsheet and house it on your computer. Additionally, there are several Internet-based software platforms that can support you in your short sale negotiations.

One more tip (a treat for those that read to the end of the post): If your are documenting ‘old school’, print 6 copies of your log on legal size paper. The average short sale only takes three to five pages to log, but I have had a few winners that have logs of six pages and beyond. I’ll save the dramatic stories of those short sales for another post.

Click the link below to view my Communications Log

Communications Record

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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

    June 15, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Great article. Very informative and handy especially the sample of the communications log. It can assure that every detail is well documented and can easily be accessed when the need arises. Thanks!

  2. Jans Indianapolis Homes for Sale

    June 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Informative article. I especially like the way you refer to your longer communication logged short saels as “winners”. Quite funny.

  3. Gloria Singer

    September 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Hi, I could not open your sample communication log. Could you possibly email it to me or check the link?
    Thank you.
    Gloria Singer

  4. Homes In Pasadena

    October 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Great tips! A communication log is vital to short sales and it’s a great way to keep track of all your sales.

    Thanks – Steven

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