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Two Tips for Escalating a Short Sale Package

Admit it. You probably never used the word escalate before we ventured into our most recent stint with distressed properties. Now, the word escalate takes on a whole new meaning (and so many layers) as we attempt to make complaints and/or draw attention to short troubled short sale files.

Why Should You Escalate a Short Sale?

There are several reasons that a short sale listing agent or short sale negotiator may want to “escalate” a short sale file. Before going that route, it is very important to understand a respect corporate time frames. Learn about how long it usually takes to have a BPO ordered. (If you are complaining after a few days and the bank’s timeframe for BPO is two weeks, nobody at the bank is going to seriously address your concerns.


Here are a few of the possible reasons that you may need to escalate a short sale file:

  1. Too much time has elapsed and the bank employees have made not progress in the processing of the file.
  2. The sale date needs to be postponed and the bank employee you are working with is having no luck or not responding to your communication attempts.
  3. The bank’s value is not in line with the perceived market value.
  4. An extension on the closing date is required and the bank employee you are working with is not able to assist you.

Number One Rule

When you escalate a short sale file, the rule is simple: Keep it simple. That is, leave all of your short sale drama at the door. It does not matter to upper level management that you have left 73 messages for the negotiator or that the buyer is pregnant and wants to be in the property before the baby is born. All that you need to communicate to the bank is what you need and why you need it.

That being said, you will look like a clown if you contact a bank executive and then it turns out that your short sale package is incomplete or that you have not responded to their requests within the appropriate corporate timeframes.

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In order to escalate your short sale file, you need to demonstrate professionalism and objectivity: two things that can easily be accomplished if you just keep it simple.


Photo: flickr creative commons by Stefan

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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.


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