Foreclosure in Seattle>Question Details

Krampusz, Both Buyer and Seller in Seattle, WA

Hi, I am looking into making an offer on a short sale. If I offer the list price can I expect a relatively quick resolution?

Asked by Krampusz, Seattle, WA Mon Apr 18, 2011

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I wish I could say yes, but it's only likely if the bank has already approved the price. If not, it will come down to the bank(s) and the negotiator. Some third party negotiators have devised systems which can get things done faster than many agents attempting to negotiate on their own.
Critical questions for your agent to ask, who is/are the lenders? Who will be negotiating the short sale? What is their experience/track record for getting approvals? What timeframe do they project?
If the listing agent is new to short sales or has a mixed bag of results, suggest they use a third party negotiator.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
One other issue pops up, which is that the listing agent may have periodically been dropping the price, and so full price may not be anything the bank will realistically accept. It's one of my pet peeves about short sales--too many agents have been taught to do that and it means the the list price means nothing.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
Unfortunately, the list price of a property and the price that the bank will accept have no direct relationship. If the property is encumbered by more than one loan, each lender has to approve the price/amount they are willing to accept. Now, that being said, there are HAFA short sales and with a HAFA approved short sale, the bank(s)approves the price they will accept so the list price is that bottom line amount.

Buying short sales can be time consuming and stressful, but if you have the time and patience, you may be able to get a great deal on a home.

If you need any help, feel free to contact me.
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
All the answers here are great. One thing to remember, there is one sure to get the house, and that is to make an offer that will not make it a short sale. Most of the time not a solution, but some of these short sales are only short by a small amount of dollars. Check to make sure that the property your are buying is not a short sale because of transaction fees.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
Short Sales take time in all aspects. The one thing to keep in mind is that you are dealing with a bank and they don't move the way we would all like them to. Unfortunately, there is nothing quick or short with a short sale. If there is anything else that I might be able to answer for you please feel free email me at Enjoy the rest of your evening and Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
Remember the seller's lender is looking more at whether they should let the seller off the hook, than they are looking at your offer. They are gathering a lot of information from the seller in addition to the offer, and if the seller's information is incomplete or inadequate, that will hold up your answer.

They are not looking primarily at your offer. They are looking at why they should accept less than the seller owes. If the seller can't prove a change in circumstance or hardship, or if the bank thinks they can get more by foreclosing and selling it on their own, your offer will have little to do with their decsion.

Don't overbid it thinking it will go faster if you do. Spend time making sure it's a good value and expect the process to last about 90 days. If it goes fast, great! But if you offer full price and they answer in 90 days, you may feel badly that you offered that price if it did not get you the intended result.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
Hi Krampusz,

We can never say how quick the answer will come. For the bank it all boils down to their Net Present Value on the property.

One key determinate of timing is whether or not the listing agent has an approval on the list price from the lender and if there is only one lender or if there is more than one lien on the property.

Good luck. Your best information will come from your Buyer's agent and the Listing Agent.

Warm Regards,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
If there is a 3rd party negotiator it might take 60 days. There is no such thing as a fast short sale. Each bank is different, some use online systems such as Equator, some don't, they make the rules and they change them and we as brokers, work at keeping up with the new changes and guidelines. If your offer is first and a full offer, the banks usually like to wait and see if other offer come in, some will go Pending Back Up offer. There is a short sale addendum where you can ask no other offers are accepted. Let me know if you need more help with this, I am happy to work with you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
You cannot expect anything from these banks. they can respond in a few days or 6 months. It is up to your agent to access the particular short sale as to results. The price does not have much to do with it. It depends more on the knowledge of the agent & the negotiator that the bank assigns to it. I hope your agent has a lot of experience with short sales. If you need any help,let me know. To learn more about Short Sales & banks, visit my short sale blog at:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
Regardless the offering price, there is no certainty as to response time. Not one Realtor/Broker can accurately answer this question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 19, 2011
Only 42% of short sales close, and that it is a long and frustrating process is an understatement. There are so many better choices and great selection of regular MLS houses that can be negotiated to a great deal by an experienced agent.

David Cooper Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow. email or call +1-7024997037 for FREE list . not a real estate agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 19, 2011
No. Absolutely not.

Suppose you go to an auction and there's a really nice widget for sale. If you went into a store to buy the widget, it'd cost $100. But there's a note on this widget saying that bidding starts at $5 and that it's a reserve auction--meaning there's a minimum price the seller will accept.

If you bid $5, will you get the widget? Maybe yes. Probably no.

That posted number may or may not reflect the true value of the widget. Same with a house.

There may be other people interested in buying the widget. They may be willing to pay more than you. Same with a house.

You don't know what the reserve is. Maybe (though unlikely) it's $5. It may be $20, or $50, or $75. If bidding doesn't get that high, the seller won't part with the widget. Same with a house. The lender has some figure in mind, and won't go below that.

And imagine if, after the auction, the auctioneer had to fax all the paperwork to the owner, who might take 3 weeks, or 3 months, or 6 months, to decide whether to accept your offer. That's how a short sale works.

So, no. You can't expect a relatively quick resolution.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 19, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
There some great answers already, but I thought I would add one thing. It is importanat to have a Pre-Approval Letter submitted with your offer. You will want to talk with a Loan Officer about becoming Pre-Approved, so you can obtain a Pre-Approval Letter.

Best Regards,

Chuck Chrobak
Sterling Savings Bank - Home Loan Division
Mortgage Banker
Cell: (425) 330-9657
Office: (425) 893-5723
Fax: (425) 491-7176
Apply Online at:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 19, 2011
I get this question all the time. There is a lot of confusion around short sales simply because there is no one answer for any given scenario.. Every short sale is tied to a different lender, and each lender is owed differing amounts. Each lender has differing amounts of delinquent, foreclosed, or short sale loans they are managing as well. The estimated value of the properties in congruence with the owed delinquency to the bank are really what we try to look at on short sales. For instance let’s say John has to sell his condo in a short sale. He owes the bank 100k but the property’s value is 89K and the listing price is 79K. Confusing right? The reason they list the property so low is to initiate activity on the listing and elicit offers. It does not mean that a full price offer of 79k would be accepted by the lien holder on the property. Now depending how long the property has been for sale, ( the longer the better opportunity for a better deal, depending on the specific lender) and if there is already a renegotiated price that the bank has decided to settle on you can probably get the house for just under the estimated property value. But what often times happens, especially since we have peaked on short sale inventory and there is more competition, is you get multiple offers and the price goes up. Depending--- key word-- depending on the property for sale, the delinquency and the lender. I will say, I have worked on many short sales. No two are alike. The risk factor to you is that they can take a VERY long time. I worked on one that took 13 months. So it really depends on what time frames you are looking at and how enduring you can be on an offer. Another often times negative on a short sale is that since a short sale is a delinquency, you are buying as is- the seller is already negative they can’t often do any improvements or fixes. I strongly suggest you have an experienced Realtor help you investigate the specific details on the short sale you are interested in. Im happy to extend more info anytime. Best to you in navigating this amazing buyers market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 19, 2011
Not necessarily. Some agents put ridiculous list prices on short sale homes to entice buyers and get the ball rolling. And that just plain bites.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 19, 2011
Simply put: No

I like Leslie's explaination best.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
Each short sale is different and has it's own unique characteristics and issues. Much depends on the lienholder(s). So your question is too generic to be properly answered. Your agent or the listing agent should be able to provide some insight
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
It could take as short as 3 weeks and as long as 6 months, depending on if the list price is already approved or not by the bank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
Yes, only if you hit the easy button...It comes down to how much they owe, how many loans, which lender, do the sellers qualify, and can the listing agent sell to the negotiator. Many variables so make sure if you go at it be prepared for a long wait unless they already have an approved price within 90- days of your offer.

For the easy button call 425-478-6650
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
Hi Krampusz,

As much as I'd like to say yes that a bank will respond faster if you give a full price offer, it's just not the case. Every bank has a different approach to their short sales. Work with your buyers agent closely and do market research to put the best possible offer in which best suits your needs.

Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.

Saviya Rowland, CIPS
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 18, 2011
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