Home Buying in 85296>Question Details

Steven Diaz, Renter in Phoenix, AZ

Does anyone know from personal experience through a client or what not, how long banks are taking to respond to short sale offers as a buyer?

Asked by Steven Diaz, Phoenix, AZ Tue Jul 5, 2011

I have been looking for a home but i keep hearing goods and bads on short sales. Im being told that seller owned is the way to go but theres either nothing out there or when there is there is an offer on the home within the hour of it being listed. Im also running into sellers not wanting to deal with me because im using VA as my mortgage loan type. What gives? How much more sure of a loan can you get than that?

Help the community by answering this question:


Short sales are a difficult process. You need to be patient and make sure you work with a experienced professional.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 18, 2012
I would work with a professional.
Flag Tue Oct 23, 2012
Thanks for your interest!
Flag Mon Oct 22, 2012
Speak with an experience agent who has short sales knowledge.
Flag Thu Oct 18, 2012
Regarding a VA loan, they are among the most difficult and challenging loan products out there. You may think they're a piece of cake, but they are ANYTHING but simple or easy. And VA appraisers are bound to adhere and report minimum property conditions that can literally create a nightmare for a seller and/or buyer. Your mortgage lender should have explained all of this to you, but if not, then your Buyer's Agent should have covered it. You would do yourself a big favor by limiting your home search to sellers/properties that are VA-friendly.

All the best!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 5, 2011
Short Sales should be called Long Sales as the average is still 3-4 months for response time.

A VA loan is not always favorable to a seller due to some of the things listed below by others. It is going to be harder to get an offer accepted with your VA, its possible but takes a little more work.

Thank you for serving our great country! I wish the VA loan process was better for all parties involved.

We do have some other 100% money available if you are ever interested.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 25, 2013
Having been exposed on both ends as a lender and as a realtor, I can relay first hand the answer to your question.

Ideally, your Realtor will be communicating to the listing agent who can give a determination of the turn time. Turn times now are much quicker and can be as little as a few weeks, however if shortsale request is just being placed, then it takes several months. So even though you may get an acceptance from the seller; you are going to be in limbo status until you get an "Agreement and Acceptance of Shortsale" from the bank. This will be several pages with you listed as the buyer and the terms and the conditions of the sale that the lender has agreed to. At this time is when you can move forward and order your appraisal and get your loan moving forward.

With regards to VA financing, there is usually confusion from the seller thinking that their out of pocket costs are much higher. This is a result as a VA buyer you cannot pay certain fees. If your lender can price it out or not even charge the fees that are not allowed by you to be paid then you are good. Typically what I do is I write out the VA non-allowable fees, on the contract, if the lender isn't able to waive them. This usually puts the seller and the listing agent at ease knowing what the costs are upfront and they can determine if the "net" proceeds are worth accepting your offer as a Veteran. Hopefully this info helps. Good luck and best wishes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 24, 2013
About 3-6 months, but I have heard back in less than a month!

Tina Martinez
West USA Realty Revelation
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 23, 2013
Investor X. It sounds like you have had horrible short sale experiences. Yes, some short sales can be bad. I have not see one that the owner refused to get out. Most owner occupied properties receive a relocation assistance that requires the owner to leave the property without any damage. I am an investor not just a realtor. I currently still invest mostly to hold and I am about to close on my 3 rd short sale this month to keep as a rental. I specialize in working with and for investors. If you wish to chat or contact me... I would love to share some ideas with you. Again, my statements are based on experience as an investor myself... Not just as a very successful sales person

Yamile Hirsh
Web Reference: http://www.topsellaz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 19, 2012
You'll have 2 answers to this question from a salesman and an investor… The sales man answer would be = Short Sales are a wonder opportunity to purchase a property. Our team can find that right property for you….. Investor answer. Short Sale waste of time. Don’t bother. Most realtors list a Short Sale way under priced to get the phone ringing. No true appraisal. Put a bid and wait at least 90 days for response. By then your LSR is expired. Home owner still lives in property. Good luck getting them out after the closing. Keep your fingers crossed they don’t rip everything out including kitchen cabinets, toilet bowls and toss paint all over the walls. You’re kidding yourself if you think a Short Sale is great. So you can take advice from a sales man or a investor. Choose wisely.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 19, 2012

I do agree with you in regards of how great and secure a VA loan can be. The problem in our market right now, is the lack of investory in the PHX area. This causes homes to receive several offers, and buyers like you end up competing with cash offers that end up not having to face an appraisal challenge. The basic problem that will will encounter is that some areas are selling for over the listing price. IF you decide to come over the listing price and the "subject property" (property that you are buying) does not appraise. You will have to come up with cash from your wallet to pay the difference. The VA loan will only cover what the property appraises for.

Short sales are an amazing product, that when negotiated correctly and by an experienced professional can be closed smoothly and successfully. The estimated period of waiting time changes from bank to bank. usually anywhere between 90 to 120 days. I have seen amazing transactions with one loan in the short sale approval process that have closed in less than 40 days, but this is VERY unusual and not the norm.

You need a very aggresive and knowledgable realtor to place your offers. In this market the "who" counts a lot and makes a difference between getting your offer accepted or not. Also, having a realtor that has access to several listings could be an option to find you a home through an easier outlet.

Good luck :)

If you need help, check my website and feel free to contact me
Web Reference: http://www.topsellaz.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 19, 2012
Short sale definition = waste of time. move on to another property. Save yourself.

Investor Mike
Gilbert, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 18, 2011
Yes, the short sale process can be pretty comfusing. I've found that the process and time-line is different depending on the Lender. I suggest you select a Licensed Real Estate agent as your Buyer's Broker and work though the details of what you want ot have happen and then let your Broker/Agent work through the process with you. Your Broker/Agent will represent your best interest in the transaction and bring their best experience to a successful outcome.
All the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 18, 2011
Short sales in my opinion are moving quicker than ever before. I have had recent experiences with some lenders that have approved the short sale in 30 days. I would say most are taking anywhere fro 60-90 days to approve and most will give only up to 45 days to close once approval letter has been issued. If you fall in love with the perfect home and are willing to wait, short sales are a great deal!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 9, 2011
First off, thank you for your service! Am presently doing a VA loan. We did have to put "earnest money" into Contract. Many sellers do not grasp the NO money in contract/escrow principals of this Loan. My situation is an estate sale and the Siblings have been extremely difficult to deal with. However your Agent needs to explain the circumstances and nuances of this Loan and to get assurance the Seller(Bank in this case makes it very difficult) can or should call the Morgage Broker. You may possible want to stay away from Short Sales if possible(as they are long, lots of rules and regulations & painfully SLOW!!! Best of Luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Short sales are typically averaging around 2 - 3 months. I've done some start to finish in close to 30 days and others almost 4 months. There are so many variables in short sales that it's next to impossible to predict.

As for VA loans, I actually like buyers that are using VA financing. The only issue I've ever run into is with appraisals on VA loans. Other than that VA buyers are preferred unless the home is in very bad condition.

Best of luck!

James Wehner
John Hall and Associates
Certified Short Sale Negotiator (CSSN)
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR)
Web Reference: http://www.jameswehner.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Steven sellers usually do not shy away from VA, fha yesbut VA is better to work with. As far as a short sale, it clearly depends on some variables, each short sale is different, it could take 4 weeks it could take 6 months. you need to ask some questions and decide if that house and its shorty sale is for you. You need to ask if there are any other offers, ask how far along the short sale is, if it is just starting it will tae longer than one that has been in process. is the seller approved to even complete a short sale, has any offer been approved or countered by the bank, is the negotiator for the seller a professional or just he listing agent, ho much experience does the listing agent have with short sales and lastly ask if the seller is in foreclsoure.


Please see my blog for a full list of tips, expanationas and advice on buying a short sale.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Go after foreclosures don’t waste your time with a short sale. On average it’s 90 days to hear from a bank. By then your bank LSR is expired. And when you get an updated LSR your FICO is dinged a notch lower. Short sales are always listed way lower to attract attention. Complete waste of time. Why take a change sitting around waiting for an answer. Time is more important than money when buying a property.

Here’s an example of a short sale. Electronic store has going out of business sale. They are selling a 60 inch flat screen TV advertised on sale. Only 1 left at the store. You go there to buy it. The sales guy says well leave a down payment and we will notify you if 3 months if you can buy it or not. We might need to charge you more money. It’s advertised at $400 bucks but we need to get a more correct appraisal. More than likely it will sell for around $1,200.

Short Sales definition. Waste. More like long sale. False advertising. Get a life.

Investor Mike
Gilbert, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 29, 2011
Dear Steven:

A short sale response can take from weeks, to months to a year and often never. The bank just forecloses. Some banks have a guarantee on a foreclosed mortgage loan and have no motivation to approve a short sale. Others have serious matters to work out with the seller and the buyer and their offer just wait. It has nothing to do with the offer.

A short sale with a "pre approved" price by the bank, where the previous buyer "walked" during their wait will be your shortest wait for approval.

Good deals and often with a more maintained home can be found on a short sale. However, the approval wait or ultimate approval will continue to be an issue.

Asking for a short sale that is being professionallly managed by the seller's experienced and licensed short sale negotiator will increase your odds.

May I wish you the best.

Jeff Masich, Realtor
Arizona Homes and Land
Web Reference: http://ArizonaHomesLand.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 6, 2011
Dear Steven,

In my experience it can take from a couple of weeks to 3 or 4 months. Most will probably fall within the 30 to 60 days range.

Short sales are fine if you have the time and is willing to deal with the frustration and stress that comes with it. Here is my take on the different types of properties you can buy: (note that this is based on my own experience. Your mileage may vary.)

1 - private sales - these are the "traditional" sales. You can usually get homes in better condition. However expect to pay more because most owners will want top dollar for their homes. One of the benefits is that you can negotiate repairs and response times are usually very fast.

2 - bank owned homes - these are usually pretty straight forward. They usually take longer than a private sale but not by much. Banks want to close as fast as possible. However they have lots of internal steps and bureaucracy that they need to go through. And those steps will add to the timeframe. You can usually find a good deal if you are patient and is willing to walk away from the transaction if the bank becomes unreasonable. Houses will typically require some repair because most banks will not make any repair. Remember that the previous owner was probably not very happy when he had to move out. So expect to see damage to the property. In addition, most bank owned homes will sit vacant for a few weeks before being sold. Burglars may be tempted to break in and cause further damage to the property.

3 - HUD homes - a very specific type of bank owned home. Expect similar condition as bank owned home. One benefit is that the process to buy a HUD home is very well defined and follow a very strict timeline. You submit the offer. Get an answer the next day. Send the paperwork in. Get the executed contract. And transaction closes within 45 days of executed contract.

4 - Short sales - houses in short sales are typically in better condition than bank owned homes. Most owners that are trying to complete a short sale will maintain the property throughout the process. In many cases the owner is still living in the house during the short sale process and will move out orderly once the house sells. The challenge with short sales is that there is no guarantee that the bank will approve it. So you may end up wasting a few months. You can get some amazing deals with short sales - again, if you are patient and is willing to walk away from the transaction if the bank is unreasonable.

Note: some REALTORS do not like to work with short sales and will tell their clients that it is not a good way to buy homes. I believe the main reason is because the REALTOR assumes the buyer will be better of buying a house in a shorter timeframe. However, I am a firm believer that depending on the buyer, short sales can be a very good way to buy a home.

And don't be discouraged by the competition. They are not exclusive to private sales. They happen every time a house in good condition goes on the market. It doesn't matter if it is a private sale, a bank owned, a HUD home or a short sale. Buyers are all looking for good deals. My suggestion is to have all your paperwork ready and when you see a house you like for a fair price, submit the offer that same day. Remember that you still have the inspection period to evaluate the house condition in more detail.

VA loans are excellent products. However VA appraisers tend to be more picky than FHA and conventional appraisers. I am not sure how much of this is reality and how much is just perception. Different loan officers will have different opinions about VA loans. My suggestion to you - if the VA product is the best one for you, don't worry what others thing - go with a VA loan. You will be fine.

I hope this helps.

Jose Dias, REALTOR
(623) 418-5700
Realty One Scottsdale
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 5, 2011

As stated here already there are a lot of factors that have impact on the timing of a short sale.

Both of my last two VA buyers purchased short sales in less than 90 days from contract to closing.

Hope the hunt is going well, let me know if I can help in any way.
Web Reference: http://www.shanecook.mobi
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 5, 2011
Hi Steven,

It all depends on so many factors: which bank(s), knowledge and expertise of listing agent who's handling the short sale, the knowledge and expertise of your agent (buyer's agent), etc. The good rule of tumb right now is 2 - 4 months to hear back (but it could take 6 months or longer). I hope that helps! Thanks, Branka
Web Reference: http://www.BrankaRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 5, 2011

Short Sales really run a wide spread when it comes to response time. I had one approved in one day and also have one that I have worked on since September of 2009.

On average the time is 90 - 120 days for a response.

Do you have to be out of your current situation or do you have flexibility?

Arizona Homes for Sale by a Guy from Iowa
Web Reference: http://www.McVinua.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 5, 2011
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