Yes, short sales can take a long time to just even get the bank's approval of the offer let alone see the property close. Typically, they are taking anywhere from 4-6months to close but if there is more than one lender involved then it can take even longer.
However; there are some short sale listings that already have the bank's approval on the price and if a short sale moderator is involved then it lessens the time to complete the sale.
That being said; each short sale can be different. It's important to work with a real estate agent who is knowledgeable and experienced with the process so that he can guide you through the steps and keep you informed.
Prudential Connecticut Realty
Usually, the biggest time variable is during the first month when you're waiting for an approval. If your real estate broker misses a single required document or neglects to follow up, you can easily wait 3-4 months just for that step.
New systems are being developed to help streamline the short sale process. If properly implemented, we could be looking at as little as 2.5 months to close a short sale transaction.
Short sale transactions are closing quicker because many of the banks are working to close short sales in a short time. When considering a short sale, check to see how many loans are on the property. A second loan has to be negotiated which can cause the short sale to take longer.
Short sales that have short sale lender approval will close faster. My experience in closing short sale approved homes, typically the short sale approval is provided in 30 â€“ 45 days. My buyers are able to buy nice homes at a great value with a smaller waiting time.
Prudential California Realty
Please see my blog for alist of tips and advice for buying a short sale.
It's almost impossible to predict. It depends on too many variables, including your local market, sales price, listing price, the motivation of the agent, the responsiveness of the bank(s). I would plan on 4-6 months, and hope for the best. It's a rough ride lately. A townhouse in a local complex has been on the market for 1 year! It has had 4 offers drop out of escrow. Now they want a mostly cash buyer. Pretty rugged.