A Short Sale Listing Can Be a Walk in the Park

by | BiggerPockets.com

One day several years back, I woke up and realized that I had an epiphany. Not a religious epiphany but a business epiphany—if there is such a thing. I suddenly saw short sales for what they really are—a perfect opportunity to become a master listing agent.

Every real estate coach and presenter says, “If you don’t list, you don’t last.” After all, it is much easier for an agent to manage 15 listings than 5 buyers. And, with our national unemployment rate so high and our housing market in the toilet, there are certainly many homeowners out there who may need to list and sell their homes in a short sale.

Short Sale listings are fairly easy appointments. They are a lot easier than the listing appointments of several years back. Long gone are the discussions of commission. The agent wants to list for 6 percent commission. The seller wants to sign for less. Since the short sale does not allow for the seller to net any money and the commission is generally paid by the short sale lender, discussion of the commission with the seller is a conversation long gone.

The second conversation that becomes secondary in a short sale listing appointment is the conversation about purchase price. Long gone are the days when the seller wants to list for several thousand more than the price they figured out after surfing the Internet. The bank determines and approves the price in a short sale. Again, the seller nets nothing so the conversation about the purchase price is short and sweet.

Because these two traditional seller stalls and objections to listing are gone, the listing appointment is a relative walk in the park. There are so many people that need to sell their homes right now. If you can generate leads and take listings, your pipeline should be pretty darn full. Now, negotiating the short sale approval may be a little bit tougher. But, I guess not everything can be easy, right?

Photo: flickr creative commons by Eustaquio Santimano

About Author

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®. Before landing real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Many folks say that Melissa is genetically pre-disposed to success with short sales. In fact, last year she and her staff obtained over 500 short sale approval letters! When she isn’t speaking with lien holders, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.


  1. Terry Sonnerburg on

    Having come to that conclusion some 3 years ago, I’ve had the most profitable 3 year stretch of my life. 3% of $500,000 is $15,000…3 of those a month is real money. And they are the easiest listings in the world to get. It’s a no brainer.

    My heart goes out to you because you should have come to that conclusion many years ago.

    • Melissa Zavala on

      I think you may have misread the first line… ‘One day, several years back…’ The epiphany came quite some time ago and I wrote this post in order to share it with others. We are definitely on the same page.

  2. I agree with you, listing appointments are easier now that price is no longer an issue. Right upfront I get them to sign a listing addendum showing that they will reduce the price every two weeks or so until there is an offer. This way I don’t have to go back for price reductions. I used to hate having that conversation.
    But while listing appointments are easier because price and commission objections are gone, they are much harder because these families are facing real hardships. There is so much paperwork and issues to cover in the appointment. Oh well, our job will never really be easy.

  3. Your points were well taken in regard to a listing appointment.

    Now if we could just make sure agents know what they are talking about and are above board with short sale lisings once they get them, it will be a different world.

    What about agents that list homes for half its market value to get action, and get the bank engaged? It is creating buyers looking for unrealistic prices and having their agents submitting offers that will never get accepted, all for the sake of engagement with a lender.

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