How can a home buyer speed up the process of buying a shortsale or foreclosure?

Asked by Trulia Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ Wed Apr 17, 2013

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Lisa Markham, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Thu Mar 27, 2014
Purchasing a home through a short sale can be a very lengthy process; when I was an Escrow Officer, i closed many of them. The key to success is making sure the lender for your loan and the Escrow Officer push, politely of course. I had some that took 6 months and some that took 1 month.
Also, most of the people who approve short sales for the note holder, work in shifts. One rep worked from 1 pm to 10 pm every day, that was one of the 6 month deals.

I'm more than happy to discuss this with you further if you would like to contact me.

Best Regards,

Lisa Markham
Envoy Mortgage, Ltd.
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Chris & Mich…, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
Unfortunately even though banks are better these days, they are far from perfect. Files still get bogged down and sent in the wrong direction. If there are two liens, lenders still get wrapped up in bitter disputes over pennies. The best chance you have of a quick approval is to ensure your listing agent (or whoever is doing the negotiations) is experienced and keeps on top of their files. Good luck and hang on in there!
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James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
Unfortunately there isn't much a buyer can do to speed up the short sale approval process. Quick response from the buyer and their agent may help cut approval times.
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Jennie Miller…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
Oftentimes, the lenders that hold the reigns on these types of listings will ask for documents to be signed by the buyer. Being accessible and quick to respond when your agent asks for documents or your support is helpful in the process and can help these types of transactions close quicker.
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Tom Sommers, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Wed Apr 17, 2013
You can't especially with a shot sale. It all falls on the shoulders of the listing agent to be up to speed with all of the information that the bank is requesting. In addition the banks process is what it is. It takes as long as it takes and you as a buyer can't change that fact. If you meet an agent who tells you that writing a purchase agreement with a closing date in 30 days will make the bank move faster that agent is an idiot and you should run from them as fast as you can.

Best of luck,
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Elva Weissma…, , Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
When purchasing a foreclosure, there is no need for a buyer to expedite the process as a buyer can get a response anywhere between 24-48hrs. It is very similar to a traditional sale. Also, choosing an agent with a lot of experience in the short sale arena can most definitely expedite the short sale process not only because the agent knows how to deal with any surprises but if the agent does not fill out the paperwork correctly, it automatically extends the waiting period. Lastly, the buyer can help by providing "all" requested documentation in a timely manner.
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Laura Myers…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
The best way a home buyer can speed up the process is respond quickly when needed and have your representative get weekly updates with the listing agent, even if the news is "no news" This way you'll know if the "no news" update is going on too long. Both Realtor's need to understand and be aware of current short sale trends so the process can be managed and communication worked at a high level. A buyer and buyer agent cannot work directly with the bank so the updates come from the listing agent so stay in touch frequently, respond to requests quickly and know when the obstacles are to great. Unfortunately not all short sales are meant to close and that depends on what everyone in the process has in experience and effort. A seller does not have to agree to the bank approval letter so knowing how things are being handled can help your rep advise you on your best next move. Since inventory is low and if this is your ideal home just be patient, be prepared for any changes and stay in communication.

Best of luck
Laura Myers
Keller Williams Arizona Realty
AZ Real Estate Consultants.
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Shahla Mentha, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
Your agent can call and stay on top of it mostly, and in some cases need to do updates on the file. That's all you can do. Be patient!
Good luck!
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Wade Kawaha…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
As a buyer, you are left to the speed that the bank or banks respond to the offer on a short sale. It is much better than in the past and the banks are more responsive. On a foreclosure, the transaction should be almost as quick as a regular sale. The bank may take a few extra days to return paperwork but the time frame is similar to a regular purchase. The main thing a buyer can do to help the process is to return their paperwork as promptly as possible.
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Steve Tracy, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
Yes, then agent you work with can look into the sale and there are ways to know exactly how fast you can close. Recently the delays have almost entirely been avoided except when there is a recalcitrant 2nd DOT on the property. Call any of the super agents or brokers on this forum to get it done right.
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Tim Liechti, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Apr 17, 2013
In buying a short sale, there really isn't much a buyer can do to speed up the process. As long as your agent requests updates and is confident the list agent and their negotiator is on top of the bank, that's about as much as you can do.

If the timeline is of concern, you may want to find a short sale that only has one lien holder (bank). While every short sale is different, some banks can be faster in getting through the approval process. Also, some short sale properties have already gone through the approval process and can be a matter of weeks to issue a new approval letter. To be honest, if you truly love the property, you just have to wait it out.

Foreclosures do not have the waiting period that short sales do. You typically get a response from the bank within 72 hours. Depending on the amount of counters back and forth, you could close on a foreclosure in roughly 30 days. Short sales can typically run 2-4 months depending on the lien holders (banks) and how many there are.
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