Your bank will require you to put together a big package of documents before they let you short sell your home. This will include lots of financial documentation showing your income along with an estimate of the “net to seller” amount (the total payment to the seller after fees). The numbers side of things is all very black and white. But there’s one piece of paperwork that’s a little more personal – the hardship letter for short sale.

This is the document that tells your story. It takes more than numbers on a spreadsheet to convince a bank that you should be approved for this process. You need to tell the truth simply and succinctly – touching on the points that matter to the financial institution that’s getting ready to take a loss on your loan. Here are a few tips for getting this letter right:

· Put your eligibility front and center. Your letter must include a clear explanation of the factor or factors that qualify you for short sale consideration. This might be involuntary job transfer, illness, loss of income, divorce/legal separation, or military transfer.

· Use a timeline that explains how you got into this mess. Start with the date you bought the property and outline how your position has changed since that time. Make it clear that you couldn’t have foreseen the events that led to your home loan woes.

· You can express regret or embarrassment over your financial situation, but don’t dwell on how you feel. Stay on topic. Sad and unfortunate things may have happened in your life that don’t have anything to do with your need to short sell your home. Leave these out. Keep the letter short (1 page) so it’s more likely to be read thoroughly.

Your short sale specialist can help you craft an accurate and relevant letter that includes all the right details.