Working Phoenix Short Sales – Be Smart

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

– Anonymous

 “Yeah, unless the squeaky wheel gets so annoying the whole car gets sold.”

– Tobey

There’s a general opinion that the only way to successfully negotiate a short sale is to call the lender once a day (or more) every day until they take your file off of their desk and make a decision. My guess is this was started by agents who got files approved after they called the lender every single day demanding an update, leading to the belief the lender will make a decision simply to get rid of them.

Except … how many of you ever have seen this strategy pay off in real life?

Maybe you’ve bought your kids candy because they were stamping their feet and holding their breath until they turned a wonderful shade of scarlet if not blue, but my hunch is you didn’t give in to the petulance. So why would you expect an overwhelmed, undertrained short sale negotiator to do so?

Not that this will stop agents from masking inexperience with short sales with activity – I know we don’t have an answer, but I’m calling every day! – but the basic reality is there’s absolutely no difference between calling once a week and learning the update is there is no update versus every single day to learn the update is there is no update.

Well, except calling more often than the lender asks usually derails any hope of having any sort of working relationship with a negotiator. And while it’s not going to be effective in all cases, we all tend to work better and work harder for someone we can relate to even if only on a professional level.

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, or so goes another ancient saying.

The short sale process is treacherous and lengthy enough without getting on the bad side of a negotiator who is working a stack of files, all of the absolute utmost importance … at least to the agent and parties involved. Though the reality is all the files are the same, even if that’s not what we want to hear.

So if you’re in the unfortunate circumstance of having to short sell your home, feel free to ask the agent telling you they’re on the phone every day for you a simple follow-up: so how is that working out for you?

(Editor’s note: this post was inspired partially by recent short sale training I’ve attended, reinforcing what I already felt, and also the nearly mind-blowing circumstance of having a negotiator proactively call me each of the last two days to update me. Tell me the vinegar works better.)

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Kristin LaVanway 8 years ago

    I agree whole-heartedly. I have found that the best attitude when dealing with the banks on short sales is to constantly ask the question “What can I do to help you?”. I provide a solid short sale package and I respond in a timely manner to requests from the bank. I usually end the call by asking “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

    I have even gone so far as to remark: “I am sure glad I don’t have your job!” – which I meant with all sincerity. That comment has led to some great relationship building that ulitmately led to the negotiator going above and beyond to get the file processed. It’s the Golden Rule and it works really well even with short sales!

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