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How to avoid losing a short sale listing in the eleventh hour

Short sale woes

If you have taken more than a few short sale listings, then it has probably happened to you. You have taken the listing, you have advertised it all around town (and all over the Internet), perhaps you have already even gotten through most of the short sale negotiation process. Now, all of a sudden, your short sale seller decides that s/he does not want to sell.

There are several reasons why this occurs:

  1. The seller now believes that s/he will qualify for a loan modification.
  2. The seller now believes that s/he will qualify for an underwater refinance (HARP 2.0).
  3. The seller now decides to file bankruptcy.
  4. The seller now decides to let the bank foreclose on the property.

While it may likely be impossible to bulletproof your listing, there are certain steps that can be taken in order to help to avoid some of these situations described above.

Education is the key

Providing potential short sale sellers with all of the information necessary to make an informed decision will help to assure that the short sale transaction doesn’t fall through at the eleventh hour.

When conducting the listing consultation, find out whether the seller may want to modify his or her loan. Provide information about loan modification programs and success statistics and only take the listing once you are certain that the seller is not still deliberating the loan modification.

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Consult with an attorney. Have sellers consult with an attorney before putting their home on the market as a short sale. Having an attorney in the loop will help to avoid second thoughts and seller’s remorse later on.

So, if you find yourself in lots of situations where sellers are tap dancing around some of the important issues, why not spend a little more time on the education and due diligence up front? Attending to the details early will go a long way towards short sale success later on.

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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