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Answers to the most common short sale listing appointment questions

There are dozens of quality scripts available for a traditional seller listing appointment, but short sales are a completely different breed with different questions, so being prepared can make for a smoother appointment that ends in being hired.

short sale questions

short sale questions

Seller stalls and objections

When you “studied” real estate, there were lots of available scripts to deal with combating seller stalls and objections. Topics such as the list price and the commission consumed (and may still consume) the listing appointment.

But, that’s the beauty of short sales; there are very few seller stalls and objections. Since a short sale means a seller will not net any money at closing, the purchase price conversation usually only takes a minute or so at the short sale listing appointment. Same goes for conversations about commission: Since the short sale lender authorizes the commission to be paid from the sale proceeds, this topic is not a key factor in the short sale listing appointment.

While there are very few seller stalls and objections in the short sale listing appointment, there are other seller questions that commonly arise during the listing appointment.

Be prepared

Like a Boy Scout, you need to be prepared. Here are the four most common questions asked by sellers during the short sale listing appointment:

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Seller: Will the bank pay me any money to sell my house?

Agent: There are a number of short sale and relocation assistance programs that provide funds (payable at closing) to short sale sellers. Depending upon the lender (and the mortgage loans), you can be evaluated for some of these programs.

Seller: Will the bank come after me for the amount of the debt forgiven?

Agent: Depending upon the state in which you live and the short sale program that you participate in, the deficiency balance may be waived. It would probably be a good idea to discuss this topic further with an attorney.

Seller: Will I have to pay taxes on debt forgiven?

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Agent: The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is set to expire at the end of the year. That act does provide tax protection to short sale sellers in certain situations. You should contact your accountant in order to discuss your particular situation.

Seller: How long is the short sale process?

Agent: Depending upon the lender(s) and the marketing time, the short sale approval can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 4 months. However, generally experienced short sale agents receive signs from the lender about 2-3 weeks before the approval letter arrives. Additionally, lenders give buyers about 4-6 weeks in order to close the transaction. So, we should have a good idea of the closing date about 2 months prior to closing.

While your traditional seller listing appointment scripts may not be effective in the short sale listing appointment, it’s a good idea to be prepared and know the answers to the most common short sale listing appointment questions.

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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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