Unfortunately Karen, just as many have already told you, it can take a great deal of time to obtain Short Sale Approval. I am not sure what line of work you are in, but here is the best way I can describe what is going on with short sales in todayâ€™s market. Let's say for example that you are a waitress in a restaurant, and your usual breakfast crowd is about 5-10 people. Your restaurant has 2 waitresses working the floor to handle the usual crowd. Well today 200 people come in for breakfast. Of course you are going to be behind, mistakes will be made, and people will wait much longer than usual for their food. This is exactly what is happening with the mortgage companies.
The person that is the listing agents contact at the bank for conducting a short sale is called a "Negotiator" and that person has had between 1-2 files that they were working on at any given time in the past. Many of my negotiators at some of the larger mortgage companies such as Countrywide, ASC, and Bank of America have told me that they now have between 100-500 files they are working on at any given time in todayâ€™s market. Some mortgage companies such as Countrywide have had new systems, policies, and procedures put in place to try and speed up the process, however all of them are still scrambling to try and keep up. And the mortgage companies are caught in the proverbial "Catch 22" situation. The more short sales they agree to (which means they are agreeing to take less money than they loaned) the more money they loose, so hiring more negotiators means loosing even more money. However if they don't hire more negotiators and more homes go to foreclosure, they loose EVEN MORE MONEY. This is just one example of why we have the housing crisis situation that exists today. However on a side note (and for some good news) Las Vegas is now the #1 Fastest Recovering Real Estate Market in the nation.
My team conducts a great deal of Short Sales, and in my experience this is the best course of action that I would recommend you do. Have your agent call the listing agent for updates about once a week. Have you agent ask the listing agent a few pointed questions that will let you know if the listing agent knows what they are doing, and/or if they are doing a good job on the file....
1. What date did the listing agent submit the Short Sale Package?
2. Has the bank ordered appraisal or BPO? If so does the bank have a copy of it yet (most of the time the mortgage company will not tell the listing agent the amount of the appraisal or BPO but they will tell them the date it came back).
3. Has the listing agent been assigned to a negotiator yet?
4. If so on what date was the negotiator assigned?
5. Ask the listing agent to find out from the mortgage companies if there is Mortgage Insurance on the loan and/or if it is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed loan. If so, not only will the bank need to approve of the short sale but the Mortgage Insurance Company and/or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, may need to approve of the short sale as well. This could cause further delays in the short sale process. (Generally this will add about 30 days to the process)
There is a great deal more to it than just the above, but if the listing agent is doing their job correctly, they should be able to answer most of these questions. If they cannot, chances are they are either not qualified to do Short Sales, or they are just not doing a very good job on their Short Sale listings.
Sorry for the long response, but I hope it helps.
John Goad, Jr. of The Goad Team
Century 21 Infinity