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Why short sale agents need to show compassion

July 2, 2013
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happy employee Why short sale agents need to show compassion

The Perils of Facing Foreclosure

To be facing foreclosure is a terrible thing. Imagine how you would feel if you didn’t have the money to make your mortgage payments? Imagine how you would feel if six times a day you were receiving phone calls from an aggressive collector trying to muscle you to pay a bill that you could not afford to pay?

As real estate agents working in the distressed property market, we often become desensitized to the situations faced by our clients. After all, how many times can you hear about someone’s job loss, divorce, or failed loan modification before you begin to develop immunity?

In order to connect with distressed borrowers, we need to understand them at an emotional level, be sympathetic, and help them through what may be the most difficult situation of their lives: the loss of their home.

How to Connect with Short Sale Sellers

Here are three ways to connect with distressed borrowers:

  1. Listen before your speak. If you actually listen to the details of what your clients are saying, you will better understand where they are coming from. Forget that you are the bees knees when it comes to short sale negotiations, and listen to how they feel and what they need from the transaction.


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  3. Communicate regularly and effectively. While you may have negotiated hundreds of short sales already, your clients have not. They do not know what to expect and may become concerned when the bank loses your paperwork or does not perform in a timely manner. Regular and honest communication about where you are at in the short sale process will be greatly appreciated.
  4. Help to prepare the exit strategy. One of the biggest concerns a short sale seller may have may be in respect to the short sale closing date. Since short sale lenders are so unpredictable, that date is a big unknown. However, it is one date that sellers need to know in order to appropriately prepare an exit strategy. Where will they go? Will they need a rental? How can you help to aid them in this transition?

Despite the fact that you’ve got loads of short sales under your belt, your clients have only dealt with this one. That’s why it’s vital to help your clients navigate the short sale process in a comfortable, patient, and compassionate manner.

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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