While Bank of America has streamlined their systems to handle short sale transactions as efficiently as possible, there can be several circumstances that will decide how long an answer to your acceptance of their counter offer will take.
It is especially hard to work your way through one of these sales during the holiday season, and that can be slowdown number one. BofA employees want time off for the holidays as much as anyone else at this time of year, and that can mean your file may spend more than the usual time left on someone's desk.
There are also some basic factors that can make your response quick or slow. If you are trying to purchase a BofA loan that is insured by FNMA, for instance, there are more than one set of eyes that has to review and approve your offer before an approval letter comes through to allow you to go into escrow.
Hopefully you have a good agent for the Seller who knows how to navigate the systems that BofA has in place to handle your offer. If it is a regular loan, the Equator.com system will be used to upload and communicate with BofA's Asset Manager. This system was specifically designed to make the time lag of moving information with a file go away, but some Agents may not be very adept at using it. If you have an FHA loan in place on the property, you cannot use the Equator system, but have to do the old fashioned faxing back and forth, which means much longer response times. There are also extra steps that may be in place for who has to review and approve, from just asset managers involved, to private investors that have to approve, all adding to the timeline for approval to go into escrow.
My best answer specifically in your case is that your Agent should be in very close daily, or at least weekly contact with the Listing Agent at this stage. The Listing Agent should be getting timeframes that they can share with your Agent as to where the sale process is, and when next they should expect to be hearing from BofA. Even if it is just to tell you that there is no change, you should reasonably expect at least a weekly contact from YOUR agent telling you how things are going.
Bob and I are both certified for short sale negotiation, with both the CDRS and SFR designations, and have experience in conducting short sale transactions for both Sellers and Buyers, often for both at one time. The real thing to do as a Buyer is ask for and expect more than just an "I don't know" kind of response. There is enough communication between the Lenders and the Agents these days that a response like that should not be 'all you hear'.
My final suggestion to you would be that if you and your Agent do not get a clear communication from a BofA representative through the Listing Agent in more than 14 days, you should relate to your Agent that they should present a letter to the Listing Agent to be presented to the Asset Manager requiring an answer. The days of not hearing a solid update regarding your sale for months the Listing Agent and the Lender are past. REMEMBER, you are involved in a regular sale scenario with a short sale approval from eh Lender required. The ONLY difference is that after you present an offer the Seller and his Agent think will work with the Bank and you all have an agreement on, they have to negotiate with the Lender into approving the accepted termsâ€¦ THATâ€™S ALL! The same level of effort should be seen with your transaction as ANY OTHER that an Agent tries to get successfully closed. Hope this helps!
David Viney, Broker and Owner - Greer Viney Group
Desert Hot Springs, CA
HENA MARTIN (Broker)
It depends on the back-end investor, but a general rule of thumb we tell our clients is 30 to 90 days.
Here is why.
When you submit to BofA the servicer BofA looks at it and tries to get it close to what they THINK the lender or INVESTOR will accept.
So what you have is what I call the FIRST counter.
Then the investor looks at it and may step on it more or accept it or deny it flat on its face.
You basically have nothing until you have the lender letter.
Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
As others have said....you should be fine. I assume you are asking when you'll see the approval in writing? Probably in about a week, typically. I'm sure your agent is already telling you this...but wait until you see it in writing. On a short sale....the lender is not really "countering" in the traditional sense as your contract is not with them. They are telling you what they are willing to accept....this is generally just the sales price, so wait until you see it, a bit of patience now will give you complete peace of mind.
good luck on your new purchase,
The time clock starts once the written approval is received.
Keller Williams Realty of Riverside
If BOA sent you a counter offer and you accepted and signed it (and your Realtor sent to the Listing Agent), you should be under contract. BOA probably won't contact you - unless you countered their counter.
At that point, you should start doing your Loan and Inspections.
I am answering very tenatively because your Buyer's Agent should be handling this for you.
At the very least, the Listing Agent could affirm that you are under Contract and when the Appraisal was going to be done.
Why don't you KNOW where you stand? Is nobody communicating with you?
Good luck and may God bless