10 questions I ask at a shortsale listing appointment.

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Superstars



1. Are you current on your mortgage and if not how many months behind are you? 0-2 months is a good answer, 5+ is pushing it and 8 months is bad.

I asked this for several reasons. The first is to establish an end point or date so I can determine if there is enough time to do one. The quickest a lien holder can physically remove you from your home in California is about 5 months. If you are 12-months behind the chance of me finishing a short sale before it's foreclosed on is slim. Another reason I ask if your current is because you need to have missed a payment or 2 before the bank will even look at accepting a short payoff (not advice, just a dirty secret).

2. How many loans are against the property? 1 is good, 2 or more is bad

3. Is this your primary residence? Yes = Good

Tax implications in regards to your deficiency and recourse that your bank may or may not have if it's foreclosed on instead of a short sale. As an agent, I want it to be your primary residence because it gives you and me more negotiating "options" with your bank.

4. Have you refinanced your home at ANY point after buying it? Yes = bad

I ask for tax reasons, loan recourse laws and overall attitude of the bank.

5. Are you able to supply your bank with the following - 2-years tax returns, 2-months bank statements, last 2 pay stubs, a letter about your hardship or why you cannot afford this house anymore, a 1 page monthly budget showing you cannot afford home. Yes = good

6. Are you current on your other bills? Depends on your other answers if it's good or bad.

7. What banks are your loans with? We just look up what banks are agreeing to short sales or not, some are better than others.

8. Where are you going to live next? So I can get a sense of your reality, if you don't know where you are going to look next I have some helpful tips to make sure you don't run into any problems finding a new home.

9. How much money do you have including retirement accounts? $0 = good ,

10. What has changed between now and when you first got the loan? Nothing = bad

So I'm sure you are asking yourself why wouldn't you just wait for the bank to come and get the home instead of jumping through all these hoops? Simple, without going into to much detail the damage that a foreclosure does to your credit, taxes, legal obligations, future real estate transactions, your neighbors and neighborhood are significantly less than a short sale. A short sale "allows" you to deal with all these issues head-on and have an active roll in cleaning up the so called "mess".

*disclaimer- This is not advice, but real estate satire. I only give advice on issues I am licensed to give advice on.


Please visit brentdewitt.com for more articles like this.


Brent 949-436-SELL

Comments (4)

Sarah, John Rummage
Benchmark Realty LLC, Nashville TN 615.516.5233 - Nashville, TN
Love Being Realtors® in the Nashville TN Area!

Thanks for the checklist. I believe you are 'currently' right.  It could change tomorrow, as you and I both know. :) 

Sarah in Nashville


Feb 11, 2010 12:06 PM
Margaret C. Taylor
Century 21 New Millennium MD - Mechanicsville, MD
St Marys/Calvert/Charles MD Real Estate Agent

I agree.  We must qualify the homeowner of a possible short sale.  Margaret C. 

Feb 11, 2010 12:39 PM
Don Wixom
RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID - Nampa, ID
"Looking out for your next move..."tm

Brent, this is a fabulous list!  Great job by you!

Feb 16, 2010 12:47 PM
william smith

Making it easier to buy and sell your home. www.house4salerealty.com.

Oct 16, 2011 08:12 AM