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How to write an effective email to the short sale lender

If you want to draw attention to a short sale file, have a legitimate reason to express concern, and remember that what you write could lead to either the success or the demise of your short sale transaction. That’s why it’s best to choose your words carefully. Don’t be a bully or a tattletale.

Bullies and tattletales

What do you really think of bullies and tattletales? Didn’t like them when you were a kid, right? So, why would you like those folks now, as an adult? Or, why would you act like one?

In the area of short sale escalation, the short sale listing agent (or the short sale negotiator) has a golden opportunity to become a bully or a tattletale, despite the fact that this behavior wasn’t recommended when you were a kid and it certainly isn’t recommended now.

Many short sale escalations can take place via email. A short sale listing agent can generate an email message to the short sale negotiator, his (or her) supervisor, a bank Vice President, or even the CEO. However, what you say in that email (if not considered carefully) can lead to the demise of your short sale.

Email is akin to written mail

I once read a blog post by Seth Godin which said that you should never write anything in an email message that you wouldn’t feel comfortable putting a stamp on and sending through the mail. With that fact in mind and knowing that you are at the mercy of the short sale lender to work with you on your short sale transaction, carefully consider reviewing a draft of your email escalation letter prior to clicking the send button.

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Here are some gentle (yet effective) ideas for conveying your frustration:

  • Always start by identifying the reason for your email in the first sentence. Note the loan number and the borrower’s last name. (Attach a copy of your third-party authorization if you do not believe that it is in the bank’s system already.)
  • Express the reason for your email message in no more than three sentences. (For example, “I am concerned because it has been four weeks and the BPO has not been uploaded into your system.” Or “I have left the negotiator many, many phone messages and sent her many emails, and am worried about the status of the file because I have not heard from her in 6 weeks.”)
  • Avoid blaming anyone at the bank for being ineffective (even if you believe that they are to blame for your miserable situation).
  • Be polite, professional, and respectful.
  • Always close by apologizing for going to such extreme lengths to get your message heard. (After all, emailing the CEO is a pretty extreme way to get your message heard.)

If you want to draw attention to a short sale file, have a legitimate reason to express concern, and remember that what you write could lead to either the success or the demise of your short sale transaction. That’s why it’s best to choose your words carefully. Don’t be a bully or a tattletale.

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.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. janepeters

    June 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Melissa, this is a great reminder to think twice before we may do something that we are going to regret.  Kill them with kindness.

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