Realtor Tip 11: Communications in a Short Sale

As a short sale realtor, you are the primary point of contact between the seller, the lender, and the buyer’s agent. You are responsible for gathering all of the documents required by the lender at every stage of the short sale, for ensuring that the seller is prepared to show the house, and for finding a qualified buyer willing to pay a fair price for the home. All of this requires an attention to detail and effective communication skills, as well as an awareness of the complexities involved with the short sale process.

To ensure you stay organized from negotiation through closing, be sure to log all calls and correspondence, whether you are communicating with the lender, seller or buyer’s agent. Make a note of the person who you spoke with, the day and time of your communication, and the subject.

Why keep a log? Inevitably, you will need it. Especially when you are dealing with the bank, odds are that somebody will tell you that they did not receive certain information you sent over. Often, you are dealing with so many people that Person A does not know what Person B said. If you keep a log, you can cite specifically who you communicated with and the day and time when they confirmed that the bank received the documents. Then, you can politely ask the person you are speaking with to check with their colleague and keep the sale moving forward.

Similarly, sellers can be emotionally stressed during the short sale process and may not remember specific points from conversations that you had. By keeping a written record, you can remind them of important details.

The other key to effective communication during a short sale is to talk to the lender that is being shorted at least twice a week. On every call, ask whether a foreclosure date has been set, and whether the bank needs anything from you. Also, until the Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) is complete, you should ask on every call whether the BPO has been scheduled, and update your notes each time.

In many cases, the lender will tell you that your documents were received and ask that you call back in two weeks. Call back in two days. Even if they say nothing has changed, call back in two days again. Banks are not proactive, and if they are missing something, they will not call you to ask for it. They will wait for you to call them and ask for an update. If you contact the lender twice a week, you can stay ahead of the curve and expedite the completion of your short sale.

For more information about the short sale process, please call 972.342.0011 and one of our experienced short sale agents will be happy to assist you.

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