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Carol Smith, Real Estate Pro in Braselton, GA

What is the average time to close on a Short Sale contract?

Asked by Carol Smith, Braselton, GA Sat May 24, 2008

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From the time that you write an offer, sometimes it could take 45 days or longer before the lender's negotiator responds --- accept, reject or counteroffer. IF it's counteroffered, then you have to factor in more time for that. And then once you have a fully executed agreement, it could be naother 45 days or longer to close. Thus, you're looking at a mnimum, 3 months.

Many negotiators deal with 300 cases at one time. So to facilitate (not necessarily expedite) your offer, you should be prepared and submit all the documents you can.

If you are representing the seller, make sure you have your hardship letter and your seller's financial statement sbumitted to the lender. Many lenders will tell you they will only work on getting the short sale approved once they have an offer....but do your due diligence anyway, and send this info to the negotiator so that they have it in hand by the time the first offer comes.

If you are representing the buyer, make sure you include a preapproval letter with your offer., The sttronger financial position your buyer is, the stronger your terms are, the better your chances are. Most lenders would rather not give credits or pay for repairs. So the recommendation is always to submit your best and highest offer at the outset.

Good luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
Obviously the time frame varies from lender to lender. I've been waiting 3.5 months alread and still have no definite answer either way. The good news is that a negotiator has been assigned a few weeks ago! I'd say the average time from contract to closing is 3-5 months- assuming all the documents have been submitted.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
Average time in Orlando is about 6 months. I have been waiting on one particular offer for 8 months now.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008

In my humble experience I would plan from 3 - 5 months. This is very subjective depending on the lender or lenders.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 24, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
I wish I had the perfect ansewer I have 5 short sale closings next week (listing agent) One of the listing short sale offers took 3 months to get final aprivoal. One took less then 3 weeks. Each lender and each offer is on its own. which lender are you working with
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 24, 2008
What is the ave age time To list a short sale
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 7, 2016
Depends on the bank but usually the range has been 3 -6 months.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 2, 2012
Zero, most of them don’t close in my area,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 2, 2012
We have started the renaming process to LONG SALES :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 2, 2012
I have closed short sales in as little as 3 months, and as long as 10 months. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 1, 2012

Quite simply, there is not average time. I always tell my customers if their plans do not allow them to commit 3 to 6 months, find a home that is not being offered as a short sale. Sometime the listing Realtor will have already received a bank approved price. If this is the case, you can shave 5 weeks off the time. Be prepared to offer the bank approved price because that price was developed based on appraisals and broker price opinions that support it. Make sure to verify all special conditions that may be present including paying a negotiator fee, contributing towards any of the seller's liens, past due association fees, outstanding assessments, who is to be responsible for the utility connections for inspections. You do not want these surprises to spring up months after you have been patiently waiting.

Best Wishes.


Fred Strickroot, Realtor®, MBA, CDPE
Florida Lic. Real Estate Brokerage
2154 Seven Springs Blvd, Suite 103
Trinity, FL 34655
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 1, 2012
Hard to say, there is really no way to predict, but based on my experience you can expect a minimum of 120 days. The quickest short sale transaction I have been involved in closed in 60 days, and the longest 215 days...both from the same bank. I have heard the horror stories of short sales that have taken over a year to close! I think days are go though since the banks have done a good job in streamlining the process. Below are a couple things that I have learned and hopefully will be of help to you.

A bit of advise...make sure that you find out if the currently homeowner has paid the HOA dues current! The banks generally will not pay more than the equivalent of 12 months dues. Once the dues become delinquent, the association will usually seek the help of the attorney and a $325 past due balance can quickly grown to over $5,000 or more and the bank won't likely pay it, and the homeowner usually can't because they have a financial hardship. Always ask the question if the association dues are paid current.

Two other items to be aware of, at least in the area I sell homes, the buyers are being required to turn the utilities on for inspections. This should be disclosed to you, but I have found that many times the listing Realtor is not disclosing this. This will require YOU to put up the deposits and pay the expense of turning the utilities on. Once last item, make sure you ask if there are any outstanding assessments that have not been paid that the seller may be unable to pay, like a road pavement assessment or special assessment.

Best wishes.


Fred Strickroot, Realtor®, MBA, CDPE
Florida Lic. Real Estate Brokerage
2154 Seven Springs Blvd, Suite 103
Trinity, FL 34655
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 30, 2012
Well Carol- I have to say that there are many different scenarios that can have an impact on the timeframe it takes to close a Shortsale. The main issue that appears to cause delays (in my neck of the woods anyway) are the backlogs and particularly the processing time that the lender takes to follow each step required in this type of transaction. The promptness and the experience of the professionals involved is key also. I personally work with a third party mitigation company. This frees up some of my time as it could be very time consuming and frustrating when working with the lenders. I closed one not long ago which kind of made me take back all the things I said about it being a long dragged out process. Fortunately for my Client, the deal went through so quickly and without a hitch because the bank already had an offer that was accepted but fell through due to financing issues. This allowed my Client to make an offer for what the bank would accept and my clients were already set with their financing. I have one that I listed that is taking forever though. In contract 6months and the bank just accepted the offer.

Mercedes Daniels

Associate Broker & Relocation Director
3242 Railroad Avenue
Wantagh, NY 11793
Cell: 516-425-6015
Office: 516-783-5600 x224
Fax: 516-783-6023
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 10, 2008
I read that Countrywide's average response time is 43 days.

As you know, short sales are completely subjective.

The most important factor is whether the parties involved, particularly the listing agent and the seller, are talented and smart, well documented and assertive. If not, welcome to the world of pain, blues and real estate agony.

Pacita's "best answer" is definitely a solid, experienced answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 10, 2008
Carol - I have worked on a few and has been anywhere from 30 days to never happening at all. Prepare your buyers for a slow and frustrating process if you can. Randall Sandin, Carolina One, 843-209-9667
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 10, 2008
The average time to close on a Short Sale contract varies from one property to another. It depends on how many mortgages a property carries? (Example 1st & 2nd mortgage) Does the property has any active liens against it? The loss mitigator will have to call each individual lien holder and negotiate a settlement price. It can be a lengthy, but you will be able to pick up the property below market value.

Be patient and you will be happy at the end.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at:

Anthony Acosta, Jr.
Harry Norman Realtors
866-515-1966 Toll Free Cell
Atlanta, GA
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 9, 2008
It really depends...I have heard some good news lately. I was working a short sales not too long ago and the loss mitigator left me a message explaining the process would take 2-4 weeks!!! I could not believe it....

Seems like they are getting the hang of things..Just follow up with the right person at the bank on a regular basis.
Sign up for the free e-newsletter about short sales.

best of luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Every situation is different for short sales. Different lenders have their own time frames.. PLEASE BE PATIENT WHEN DEALING WITH A SHORT SALE
Willie Acree
4073 LaVista Rd., Suite 373
Atlanta, GA 30084
Office 404-843-2500
Cell 770-896-7505
Direct Line 770-390-8018
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
Everyone here is right but what Mark had to say is right on. Please stay in touch. When somone in the REO dept has too many files, some of their files get reassigned. They take the ones that that person has not been able to work on and give them to someone else. Keep your file at the top part of the stack, don't get reassigned. You will have to start all over again.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 26, 2008
Each lender is different,some lenders have been very difficult in dealing with,and they take their own sweet time.My partner and I have found out that one key is to always call them back,over and over,they are not going to contact you until the last minute! If you dont get a answer from anyone,or if they say you are missing something that you have sent in 10 times then just call back and talk to another person,you will get a different answer from them everytime! Always keep a paper trail,and make sure all your paperwork is in to them,dont leave anything out!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
Every situation is different for short sale. Depends on many factors!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 25, 2008
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