Home Selling in 32095>Question Details

Bob Howard, Home Buyer in Panama City Beach, FL

I've heard horror stories about short sales...how long does it really take to buy a short sale?

Asked by Bob Howard, Panama City Beach, FL Sun Aug 26, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Some of the stories are true! haha It really does depend on the transaction, though. I just closed on a short sale where the listing brokerage had a really good relationship with the lender. This makes all the difference in the world. From offer date to closing was only 47 days. That's the average length of a NORMAL transaction. However, I know a couple agents who have short sales pending where they've been waiting on a response from the bank for almost a year. It's kind of a 'hope for the best, plan for the worst" scenario. You really can't be in a hurry to move if you're looking into short sales. Leave yourself plenty of wiggle room.

Jeff Metcalf, REALTOR(R)
Watson Realty Corp.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 26, 2012
Hi Bob,

There is no shortage of "short sale" horror stories.....this is a fact but from where we stand the situation is improving. Initially, many agents were steering a wide course to avoid these transactions but today is seeing more and more individuals embracing them and a major increase in the number of closed sales.

Every case is an individual case that needs to be evaluated on its own merits. Today's market has evolved to the point that buyers should be considering all housing availability including regular sales, foreclosures, and short sales. To take any other approach may result in the buyer missing out on a tremendous opportunity.

When dealing with short sales the best opportunities often are those that involve properties that have their price already approved by the lender. This is normally an indication that the lender has invested time and effort in being able to appreciate the financial burden this home brings to them and what their position should be.

You should listen to these stories but don't let them scare you off!

Good luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 26, 2012
I started my search with looking for a home in Dec 2015. I found my dream home only after looking at two homes. I say to my agent how long has this house been on the market? At that time the house was on the market for 22 days with no offers. Then my agent say's its a short sale. The sellers agent said to my agent that if I wanted to submit a offer I need to hurry up because he have another offer on the table. So I offer 9000 less of the asking price and requested a full 6% seller assist. Within two days my offer was accepted and then the waiting game begins. My dream home had two lien holders which makes the process even longer. The major bank approved the short sale at the end of march 2016. The second bank approved the short sale at the end of April 2016. Now the inspections can begin. I scheduled my inspection two days after the second bank approved. The inspections went well now its time for my bank to do the appraisals. Onw week later the appraisal comes back 20,000 less then what I offered. Let the headaches begin. Now we have to go back to the drawing board and ask Fannie Mae to come down to what the house appraised for and to my surprise they did and it only took two days to get a response. As we move forward with a second closing date I'm anxious and I cant wait to close. The file is in the underwriters hand for me to only find out that on a Friday a couple of days before closing I wont be able to close. I'm so angry because I reached out to my loan processor asking was there any paperwork I needed to submit a week ago and she never responded. Now I'm on my 3 rd closing date. My loan processor was able to get everything that was needed into the underwriter a week later and I should be closing this Friday May 27th. This has been a long process from to start to finish and I can say that I would never do another short sale. A short sale will have your stress level extremely high. From to start to finish it took me 5 months to close my short sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 22, 2016
Our short sale took two years, the last attempt taking 5-6 months and was a real nightmare, and I lay the blame on the bank not caring, being slow and/or incompetent. We had four buyers back out due to impatience, until we finally found one who stuck it out through the process. We started the process of our last try in September and had a foreclosure sale date of mid-January, so figured we had ample time. Essentially, we got to December and were in panic mode at the bank dragging it's feet. The bank basically said at this point that with the holidays upon us and the offices being closed some of that time, that a Dec. 31 closing would not be possible, and with the mid-January sale date shortly after that it wasn't going to happen. We had to set up a hearing before the judge to delay the sale date (which we did - at additional lawyer fees). So the process completely stalled from mid-December to mid-January. At this point, the bank asked for all new documents, then proceeded to take another month to process these. Excuse the language, but it feels like an extreme violation of your privacy to essentially cry poor, beg and grovel, and have every aspect of your financial life scrutinized. They came back with a high-ball offer (basically that we owed all $60K of the deficiency). We counter-offered $15K and they immediately accepted (it's almost as if it was a game to them - hoping we'd bite at the $60K). We seemed all good, until one thing after another kept popping up - it was almost as if they didn't want this to happen, despite it being in their best interest. We finally closed at the end of March after several stressful weeks of roadblocks and curve balls thrown at us. The banks you can't control, but the last piece of advice I can give is to have a very good Realtor who has a lawyer or paralegal working on his/her behalf to help with the process. It is really tough as a seller, and as a buyer, don't expect it to be quick.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2015
In my experience the shortest one was 45 days, but it had lready been worked out and the prior buyer walked away. The longest took 14 months to close.

The real problem is that you could wait the 9 orr more months and then it falls apart, time wasted.

Tony Vega
La Rosa Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 27, 2012
Hello Bob,

Let me give you two examples that happened to me in the last week. I have one short sale that has been under contract for 15 months. Bank finally came back after 15 months with a counter offer of 122,000--buyer can't make up that big a difference, so after 15 months, it has all fallen apart. On another one, contract price was 209,000--bank came back with non negotiable counter offer of 240,000. Both deals fell apart--30-40,000 price differential killed both deals.

Myke Triebold, GRI, LMC, SFR, ABR
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 27, 2012
Good Afternoon Mr. Howard,

There is no shortage of horror stories on short sale, but like anything in life, there are also lots of great strories as well. There is a lot that can affect a short, from the seller's cooperation, the realtors experience and lender's employees level of knowledge. I have had short sales close within 60 days from offer to closing, and it was possible because all parties involved did their part. When I take a listing on a property that I know will be a short sale, before it even goes on the market, I ensure that I know what that seller's bank's requirements are as they vary. The seller is then assigned the task of putting together all of the documentation needed to get things started with the bank. The key in all of this is to ensure that the realtors do have the experience to work on a short sale, as timing and proper documentation is vital.

Lila Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
CDPE - Certified Distressed Property Expert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 26, 2012
If you are under time constraints, avoid short sales so that you don't become another horror story.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 26, 2012
Average 4-6 months. However, can take over a year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 26, 2012
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