How to Survive a Short Sale Listing Appointment

by Chicago Agent

By Melissa Zavala

The short sale listing appointment can be an intimidating and scary meeting for any borrower that is considering listing and/or selling his or her home as a short sale. Some borrowers will tell you all about how awful their experiences have been with the lending institutions, how many months they have spent on a loan modification to no avail, and how much equity and sweat equity they have put in their beloved abodes.

When the prospective seller is unloading this information, it is important to be both patient and sensitive. Even though you are already calculating the list price and quite possibly the commission, this may not be the meeting where you lay all the cards on the table. And, for this very same reason, it is often difficult to go through an almost insurmountable number of items that need to be collected and discussed in one fell swoop.

Here’s how you can tackle that problem without overwhelming poor Mr. and Mrs. Seller:

  1. Seller Document Preparation. When the listing consultation appointment is set, tell the sellers that you will need to review all of the following items at the meeting: mortgage statements, pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns.
  2. Agent Document Preparation. Attend the listing appointment with your state and local paperwork already completed. Be prepared to write in the few items that need to be discussed before obtaining signatures.
  3. Short Sale Package Item Collection. Collect and review the items that the seller provided. Discuss the hardship and have the seller write a five-sentence hardship letter before you leave the appointment.
  4. Financial Statement.  Bring a blank financial statement to the appointment and have the sellers complete it while you are dotting i’s and crossing t’s on paperwork or taking photos or measurements of the property.

The short sale listing appointment can go on for hours and be completely overwhelming. The above list keeps it manageable, and the good news is that once you are gone, you are gone — out of your sellers’ hair for awhile: that is, until you meet again to present what will hopefully be multiple offers on their property.


Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®. last year, she and her staff obtained over 500 short sale approval letters. Before starting in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing.


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