Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius


Try this Tongue Twister: Six Strategies for Short Sale Success

Short Sale Tips for Success

The April edition of Realtor® Magazine reviews short sale ethics and six things to avoid when working short sales. It’s a nice list, and anyone working short sales and negotiating those transactions on a regular basis has certainly come up against some of these ethical issues to avoid.

No ethics lesson here, but I’d like to share six things to that you must NOT avoid when negotiating short sales.

  1. Only work with cooperative motivated sellers. A cooperative and motivated short sale seller will provide you with all of the documentation you need for the short sale. The seller will also provide easy access to the property and return your calls promptly.
  2. Order a preliminary title report and obtain a statement of identity at the beginning of the transaction. Every state has different rules and regulations. In California, I’ve found that it is vital to check into all of the possible liens against the property early in the transaction. This way any bumps in the road can be dealt with as soon as possible, and not 5 minutes before the deal is about to close.
  3. Submit a complete short sale package to the bank. Take time to prepare your short sale package. Make sure that it is neat, clear, and complete. Do not throw random items into the fax machine and think that the bank is going to be able to figure out what’s what. A complete package prepared in a concise and thorough manner will go a long way towards a speedier approval.
  4. Work with all lien holders simultaneously. Submit short sale packages to all lien holders at the same time. Unless expressly told to do so, do not wait until you have approval from one lien holder to begin your discussions with the other(s).
  5. Go to the BPO. If for no other reason than to assure that the BPO has been completed, go to the BPO. Open the door, be pleasant and cooperative. Knowing that the BPO has been completed and obtaining the contact information for the Broker who conducted the BPO (in case it gets lost in route to the bank) will also assure that the transaction moves along smoothly.
  6. Follow up with lien holders on a regular basis. Call lien holders regularly to check on the status of your short sale package. Has everything been received? Has the BPO been ordered? Has a negotiator been assigned? Ask questions to learn about the specific bank’s policies and procedures.

If you take these strategies to heart, you may find that your short sale transaction will be a smoother and more pleasurable experience!

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. Justin Boland

    April 6, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Great list, and…waaaay better content than that weird list NAR put out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Tech News

(Tech News) has recently seen a fat cash infusion from Google, and both seek to revolutionize real estate. Again. But who really benefits...

Housing News

(Housing News) Fannie Mae is offering incentives on foreclosures, and while many homeowners are unaware, many agents are as well - time to take...

Housing News

(Housing News) Short sale agents have different tasks than a traditional agent, and the path to success looks quite different; these are seven habits...

Housing News

(Real Estate) Real estate agents are often asked how they survive the slow season, but the truth is that there is no such thing...

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.