Unfortunately, if your agent is not the listing agent, there is almost no way for you to find out the details of where in the pipeline your offer is. I know you're looking for some reassurance here, so if your agent can find out if the listing agent is dealing directly with THE loss mitigator (a named person who has been assigned this file rather than just anyone in the rotation who answers the phone), if the COMPLETED seller's financial package (with tax returns, hardship letter, bank statements, etc.) has been submitted with your offer, if the BPO/appraisal has been ordered or completed, then you will know better if the file is being reviewed and an answer will be forthcoming. If the answer to any of these is "no", you're probably in for a much longer wait than 4 weeks.
Needless to say, this whole thing is a lot more frustrating than just making an offer to a regular seller and waiting up to 24 hours for an answer, getting your inspections and mortgage done, and waiting for the closing. The payoff (and sometimes the let-down), though, can be huge. It's not a game for the feint of heart.
Having said this, though, I've closed several of these and everyone has left the closing table happy--the buyers for getting a great deal, and the sellers for avoiding an even bigger hit to their credit than the full foreclosure would have been.
Hang in there. My best advice would be for you to get your side in order (get your mortgage ready to go --without spending any money until you get the offer accepted.) Once the bank says yes, they usually put it in high gear and want you to close quickly.
Louise Warring, e-PRO, CSP (Certified Shortsale Professional)
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
At Florida Future Realty Inc. in Cape Coral FL we have closed a few SunTrust Mortgage Short Sale Files. They have been quick to respond to our files in the past.
If the listing agent properly submitted everything to the lender there should be no reason that the listing agent shouldn't get some sort of feedback on the file. This feedback could even be as simple as it's in this department or that department, or we have it and it will be so many days till it moves to the next step. The way we keep track of the process is through at least one or two phone calls a week on the files for progress reports and prompting on the offers we submit. We also find that this sometimes moves our files to the top of the pile because we stress that all the information is there to make a decision on the file quickly.
The process can be long and tedious at times but stay patient and you will most likely have the home you want. Once approved though you will most likely have 30 days or less to close. This is usually transmitted in a written document outlining all the terms and conditions of the sale.
We have found that many buyers don't get everything prepared to close till this letter comes through. Bad Idea !!! You should have everything done with your mortgage lender with the exception of the Appraisal and your Home Inspection. With only these conditions left to clear you should have a smooth closing.
Please read this article for more insight: How to buy a Short Sale Home - Six Step Process to a Successful Purchase http://www.cape-coral-real-estate-blog.com/cape-coral-short-
Scott Slocum, REALTORÂ®
Licensed Real Estate Broker Associate
Florida Future Realty, Inc.
2816 Del Prado Blvd South Unit 2
Cape Coral FL 33904
http://CapeCoralRealEstateandLand.com - Search ALL the Homes For Sale
http://Cape-Coral-Real-Estate-Blog.com - Important Real Estate Information & More
As Jim says, it is important to be aggressive with your approach making regular contact. the biggest mistake that is made with these transactions is when buyers and agents sit back and wait for the bank to respond. They operate on their own schedule, lose paperwork, and need prodding.
Our advice is to get involved and make sure your agent is on top of things on a regular basis.
Jim Soda 941-809-7759
My BLOG: http://sodasells.wordpress.com/
Prudential Palms Realty
Web site: JimSoda.com
Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch-Siesta Key-Longboat Key
Immobel International Property Realtors
While Ms. Warring has given some good advice, it is true that banks are not always cooperative. They are looking out for their interest only. While I have closed several short sales, my customers have made many times more offers where the bank has taken their good old time to respond. Even the closings were many months in the making.
My advice is to have as much loyalty to the bank as they have to you. Look at as many homes as you like and make an offer on as many as you like and take the one that responds to your liking first. And NEVER give a deposit until the offer has been accepted. Always stipulate that you will tender your deposit within X number of days of the effective date (usually bank's acceptance of your offer).
James Mulligan, Broker