I put an offer to a Short-Sale home. How long does it take to get bank respond for Short-Sale?

Asked by Frank, Los Angeles, CA Sun Dec 16, 2007

I have been waiting over 4 months but still no respond yet till now. THANKS

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Robert, Home Buyer, Chico, CA
Fri Nov 14, 2008
I am in the same boat. My agent is pretty lazy. Is there a way I can find out who the bank is so I can contact them directly?
4 votes
Jeanette, Home Buyer,
Mon Jan 26, 2009
I am a buyer as well and thought I would answer this from my perspective, I unfortunately have been trying to buy a home for a year and a 1/2 now. I have put offers on 5 homes that were in shortsales and have learned the following:
#1: The selling agent must be agressive, must have experience in short sales, if the short sale package is not already prepared before you put your offer, find out why!!!
#2 The selling agent must be a sales person and be able to negotiate with the banks.
#3 Follow up, call once a week. The more you call, the more the selling agent will be on the ball.
#4 I have waited up to 4 1/2 months to hear an answer, unfortunately I have lost at all times.
#5 The longer they take to respond the more chance other offers may come in, be on the ball to help avoid this
#7 Make sure sellers interest is to sell the home and not to renogotiate to stay in the home
#8 Do a cost comparison before you put an offer, this can hold things up, make sure you are not offering more than the house will be appraised for, all though the offer price can be renogitiated
#9 Make sure your realtor is also aggressive and able to keep you informed.
3 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Sun Dec 16, 2007

It could take from a couple of weeks to six months. There is no for certain answer. I can tell you if there are mulitple loans on the property and the offer is extremely low, it will take the lender forever to give you an answer.

Make sure your agent check in on a weekly basis. Good luck.
3 votes
thinz, Agent, Allenhurst, NJ
Thu Dec 31, 2009
First, the Obama "Making Homeowner Affordable program" has been a failure to date.
The majority of homeowners in need are not getting the help they need due to poor communication on the program, lack of resources at the lenders, and backlog of cases.

For short sales, we are seeing consolidation in the industry. If you are lucky enough to have your loan transferred under Wells Fargo, you will get timely responses, and the cases will close. We have closed quite a few since Ocotber. The negotiators are really case managers, and they work typically from 4pm to midnight...at least the ones we've been dealing with have. I don't understand what you mean by your attorney filing the BPO...that is not relevant to anything in the process...the BPO gets done, and you receive a counteroffer from the lender.
Once you and the lender agree are close with the terms, the addendum docs will be forwarded for things like:
listing extension, contract addendums, arms length agreement, etc...A verbal approval means nothing for setting up a closing or packing your bags...Your attorney needs that in writing...and if they are not getting a response they need to escalate to the negotiator's supervisor. If the BPO doesn't come in where the true AS IS value needs to be based on what people will pay for the home, do a BPO appeal. Most attorneys will not do this - takes too much time. A major chunk of our business comes from attorneys who need the help getting the short sale prepared, presented, negotiated, and closed for their clients. Bottom-line: 4 months isn't too long, but if the BPO can be verified that it is acceptable, you should be able to close within 30-60days.
2 votes
Garrett Smith, , Modesto, CA
Tue Dec 18, 2007
I have had fair amount of expierence in Short Sales, the process is being more streamlined as each month and dollar goes out the window. As HELOC's (Home Equity Lines of Credit) turn their files over to Loss Mitigation Departments the process should become faster. I have had it take 4 months on one specific house but as late as this week, I have had it take only a week and half for acceptance, it really depends on how well prepared the listing agent is.

Hope this helps.
2 votes
Jane Doe, Home Buyer, San Diego, CA
Sun Dec 16, 2007
Depends on the bank. For two short sales, we received answers from the bank in one week.
2 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sun Dec 16, 2007
There is no definitive answer. It can happen in just a few weeks, and I have heard of 6 months from several sources. This makes buying a short sale a difficult challenge for anyone who is tyring to coordinate a move. When you are renting month to month, staying w/ family, or if the intended purchase is investment or a second home, it does make the unpredictability easier to deal with.
2 votes
Asharium, Home Buyer, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mon Jul 5, 2010
Dear Nenegar,

I can relate to your short sale with BOA and I've been waiting to purchase a home for 12 months now. The latest deal with BOA is an "updated approval letter" since the first was done last July. There are other factors involved with short sales that are NOT just the bank. In my case, the owner has been taking his sweet time filling out proper paperwork due to his bank, our realtors, home insurance company, etc. I just don't understand why the bank does not pick up on the owner "milking the system" to stay in the home not paying a cent??? He has not even taken out his belongings, yet... while knowing we have a contract (which has been revised with an addendum 5 times in 12 months)....
I also feel the short sale realtor has not been doing her job properly and effectively. This also prolongs the process!!!
Best of luck to you... and hopefully, you will know you are not alone in this process....it will hopefully pay off in the end for both of us :0)

1 vote
i know this is an old post but this is similar to what we're experiencing. Seller and bank have both accepted our offer but we were not told that a loan mitigator had to make the final approval, which according to the seller, it could take a year! how is that even possible? the sellers realtor is not quick to move and has flat out said to our realtor that she's too busy and will turn in our contract when she gets to it. we can't figure out why she's stalling and making goof ups other than she's protecting the seller.
Flag Thu Sep 28, 2017
Kmfoss, Home Buyer, Stafford, VA
Sun Jun 6, 2010
FIrst, yes I agree Bank of America is horrible! I have not known one single person that has been satisfied with them. When we put in our offer on a short sale my agent included some contingencies; we were not to put down good faith, pay for any inspections, appraisals or anything that would come out of pocket until they accepted our offer and we entered into contract with them. Weve only been waiting a few weeks now and I hear it could take months to respond (we dont have that kind of time to waste on something that might never happen), so he also put in that they had to respond by july 30 or we were no longer bound to our offer. If this house does not go thru, hopefully it does-and soon, maybe you can ask your realtor to do the same. Good luck and if I was you I would not put one more dime into a house that wasnt yours for sure.
1 vote
thinz, Agent, Allenhurst, NJ
Fri Nov 14, 2008
Here's what we're seeing as we manage short sales for realtors, attorneys, and homeowners - 80% of the short sales are going to foreclosure because a) the realtors are not pricing them correctly and in line with what the true fair market value is, and b) they are not managing the BPO process with the lender correctly. If they were, more realtors would be closing short sales. No fault of the realtors other than they are not experienced enough in the nuts and bolts of how to push a short sale to closing. Today for example, I did a short sale workshop for Countrywide where they invited their top realtors to attend. We covered the essentials for how to use our model to get the deals closed.

As the process has evolved over the past 6 months, here's what we're finding...
the most critical part for getting short sales approved in a timely manner is to get a contract AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. Which by the way - is the easiest part...our group has investor buyers with cash to buy up these properties, so the realtors don't have to spend a lot of time and money marketing the home in the hope they will get a price that will satisfy the sellers mortgage balance...it is not happening because the homes are too upside down. After the offer, contract, HUD1 and the rest of the short sale package are presented to the lender, we need the BPO ordered as quickly as possible - remember, the highest priority in a short sale is to get the homeowner out from under a mortgage they can't afford, so they can avoid foreclosure - regardless if we are asked by a investor buyer or whoever to help them negotiate the purchase. We get the BPO to be in line with the true FMV, and we build equity into the property through the negotiation. As long as we show that it is less costly for the lender to approve the short sale vs taking the home back in foreclosure, we will get the sale approved.

Is it worth the wait? Depends on the buyer - will they live in the home , or are they an investor.
An investor will wait most times - the non-investor will probably want a quicker answer because they are timing a move from their current home. We are seeing short sales accepted in as little as 2 weeks up to 4 months...depends on the lender and their case load...But, there are ways to making them move quicker based on the case we present...we need to create a sense of urgency based on the cost to the lender to not settle quicker.

The really neat thing that we are dealing with is the loss mitigation negotiator who offers us a loan modification as part of the negotiations...this works to our advantage if we have a homeowner/seller that really doesn't want to move, and could afford to stay if the payment was more affordable. Many times the lender will not approve an initial request for a workout/loan mod, but when they realize we are working on a short sale, they will offer a workout to do whatever is needed to keep the loan current. This presumes the homeowner can qualify...but we would know that from the financial balance sheet we provide as part of the short sale negotiations.
Hope this helps...
1 vote
Nino and Ami…, , Modesto, CA
Wed Dec 19, 2007
The length of time depends upon how much work the listing agent has done AHEAD of the offer. If the seller has ordered and completed the short sale package requirements prior to receiving the offer, the entire package can be sent right away, but if the agent has not coached and prepared the seller prior to receiving the offer, then it could take months as stated by other agents. My team recently closed a short sale in 60 days, and have three others in the pipeline due to close within the next 45 days. Buyers can really get a smokin' deal on short sales if they are willing / able to wait for bank response.
1 vote
Susie Genet, Agent, Tulsa, OK
Tue Dec 18, 2007
Is there only one bank involved? If there is more than one mortgage on the property, it will take even longer. I have done several short sales and each bank and each situation is entirely different. If the sellers have not made any payments for a long time, the property could be in danger of going into foreclosure before the sale is ever completed. For your own sanity, you should have your agent check to see if foreclosure proceedings have begun on the property yet.
1 vote
Karen Miller, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Sun Dec 16, 2007
Hi Frank,

You are a very Patient man! I've heard of banks taking up to six months to reply to a short sale offer, though I believe that it's often just under a month. Do you still want the property? Have you been looking at other properties in the mean time? Prices have come down in the last four months. Did you put in a expiration date on your offer? If you used the CAR (Calif Assn of Realtors) Residential Purchase Agreement & did not specify an expiration of the offer, it automatically expires at 5:00 pm 3 days after the offer is received by the selling agent. This does not mean that your offer isn't still valid, it just means that the seller (bank) can't hold you to the offer if you are no longer interested.

As others have mentioned, your Realtor should be in weekly contact with the selling agent, who may or may not be able to shed any light on the bank's timeline. If you really want this house at the price you offered & you can afford to wait, stick it out. If you're not sure, start looking at other homes, preferable those not "in foreclosure" & you might find something you like better, with a seller that will respond to your offer in a few days, if not a few hours!
1 vote
Beth Mitro, Agent, Henderson, NV
Tue Nov 29, 2011
As a buyers agent It is best to only show properties that are short sale approved unless your buyer is in not rush and has all the time and energy to give for a chance at ownership of said property. Otherwise there is so much time wasted, buyers, buyers agent. Problem is, the only way to get a short sale approval is with an offer. So you buyer needs to be the second in line, meaning 1st buyer has already split. Or just stay away from short sales and buy bank owned and good ol standard/equity homes. Your agent can distinguish in the MLS search. It's up to you, so it was your choice when you said you were ok with buying a short sale. I don't get lazy I just know where the line ends. Do you want to stand in it?
Good luck
Beth Mitro
Web Reference:  http://www.agentmitro.com
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Tue Nov 29, 2011
Hi Frank

Amazing how 4 years later, the question still floats.

0 votes
Rebelbamagrl1, Home Buyer, Mississippi
Tue Nov 29, 2011
In the same boat. Been waiting for 2 months now. Our realtor is awesome she asks the other realtor like everyday what the deal is and she also said that she wants the number of the bank so she can call them and make them hurry up. I have gotten frustrated because the government wonders why there is problems and there are so many houses that are not being sold and blah blah blah well if they wouldn't sit on them and just waste time they wouldn't have them just sitting around. You would think that they would want to get the out as quick as possible so they could turn more houses and make more money BUT people don't think. O well. waiting patiently and not sure how much longer I am willing to keep waiting. stupid government is way to slow and they wonder why thwy are having so many problems. HA
0 votes
Anthony Perez, Agent, Northridge, CA
Mon Sep 5, 2011
If it is taking long and the response is negative, the preparation and submissions were flawed.

Read more @ http://www.BestBankBuster.com
0 votes
Pauliepauls, Home Buyer, Florida
Thu Aug 25, 2011
Whatever happened? These are some really great responses.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Wed Jul 13, 2011
DECEMBER of 2007

Makes you wonder if they are still in California.
0 votes
Lisa D.G. Ro…, Agent, Seaford, NY
Wed Jul 13, 2011
They can take as long as they please!
0 votes
Joe Vayer, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Mon Jun 7, 2010
I submitted a short sale request to Bank of America, in early March. Since then, I submitted three offers on the property. Two of these buyers canceled during escorw. I represented the third buyer and received approval on the price and closed escrow. This happened all within 90 days.
I received more than thirty offers on the property. I discovered that all but four offers never stood a chance of being accepted by the buyer, let a lone approved by the bank. After careful examination, I concluded that the offers that didn't stand a chance were either written by agents whom didn't counsel their buyers properly and only wasted their buyers time or they were written by agents who should not be working in real estate.
Most agents will tell you that short-sale transactions are difficult and time consuming. Well, they are if you don't establish a good foundation. Not all short-sales will be approved by the banks. Knowing that ahead of time, by asking the right questions, before making an offer, will save you time and save you from disappointment. . I think short-sales are easy and I like doing l short-sale transactions.
Joe Vayer
The Real Estate Consultants.
Oceanside, California.
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sun Jun 6, 2010
Hi Frank:

It is now 2 1/2 years since you posted this question. Can you advise how it turned out?

Its going to be a hot day in Northern California.

Also how did you make out on the home, did you land up buying it.
Prices did come down in LA since 2008 when you may have got the place.

Best Regards
Web Reference:  http://www.ruthandperry.com
0 votes
Nenegar, Home Buyer, Riverside County, CA
Sat Jun 5, 2010
I too am waiting on B/A for the so called approval letter...this short sale thing has been going on since August 09...submitted another offer and then after a very long time we received a counter offer from the lender, but we had to sign and return it to them right away. We did accept their counter offer...all loans are approved and ready to go, the escrow company cashed my deposit in February 10. I have had the house inspected...but the negotiator continues to lag. They keep telling me that they will have it by the end of the businessday...it will be another two weeks...etc. Nothing but excuses... The update today was that he finished the file, but now there is something else he has to do. ..I'm not sure what is going on...I have put a lot of pressure on my agent, the escrow officer and the selling agent. I keep expressing to them that we need to close by June 30th because we want the tax break. Do I have any rights? Will an attorney be able to help me? What can I do? B of A is a terrible bank...that is why I took all my funds out of their banking system 22 years ago and have never done business with them again...I had no idea I was dealing with this bank when I started....I have already told them I was going to pull out if they don't come up with a letter within the next couple of weeks...Only thing that bugs me is that I really like the house and I have already invested monies on inspecions and appraisal. Help!
0 votes
Richard, , Los Angeles, CA
Sat May 1, 2010

You should get an answer with in a week or less..

I think in this case, no answer is the answer, the bank did not take your offer for some reason.

I have a lot of short sale listing please feel free to call me anytime,

Richard Brown
Coldwell Banker
1917 Hillhurst Ave
Los Feliz, CA 90027
323-906-2433 office
323-422-9757 cell
DRE# 01878244
0 votes
Stulip, Both Buyer And Seller, Chic-fil-a At Arrowhead, Peoria, AZ
Thu Apr 29, 2010
As a member of the National Chamber of Commerce® you can immediately begin saving on these crucial business services and you can rest assured that we will never lose sight of your long term interests.
0 votes
Trying2bepat…, Home Buyer, Caballo, NM
Thu Apr 29, 2010
I am close to being at Day 90 in hearing from Bank of America. My agent and I have been told by the listing agent that the negotiators and investors have all signed off on the paperwork, but we have been waiting close to TWO months just to get the paperwork and approval letter. Is this normal? Usually people are waiting for approval, not the approval letter. We have been told twice in the last month that we'd get approval "within 48 hours" but that time comes and goes and we hear nothing. Anyone have insight?
0 votes
Myrna Averia, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Apr 29, 2010
This question is dated 2007...Hoping Frank the home buyer has closed escrow successfully since this question was posted...
0 votes
Pebble Singha, Agent, Woodland Hills, CA
Sat Apr 24, 2010
Pebble Singha
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Having done over 40 Short Sale transactions

here are my thoughts on your situation: Either you are very close to getting an answer or their is more to the story than the listing agent is telling you.
What you need to know is the FF and you will pretty much know if you should wait for this home
1. Has the Listing aAgent been updating your agent regularly? If not then have your agent follow up with the listing agent
2. What are th ecredentials of the Listing agent has the agent done about 10-20 short sales and has he worked with this bank before and successfully closed something to know their proces, if not then move on its probably a situation where the Loisting Agent may not be seasoned enough to know what to do.
3. Most short sales have somekind of response or a process that a good submission of Short Sale pakage + a well qualified offer should get. In my doing over 40 short sales none of my buyer and their agents were left to ask this question on Trulia.
Their aint no bank which will have no response in 4 months unless the listing agent has been doing something wrong ( or the person negotiating this file... it may be an out side vendor hired by the agent or the seller).Your offer is already expired you can move on unless you left the buyers SSA empty on the walk away date?Wish you luck Sir.
For more info on Short Sales , how to avoid foreclosure , buying a home or selling a home log on to
Web Reference:  http://www.pebblesingha.com
0 votes
Deborah Brem…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Mar 19, 2010
The landscape of short sales has changed DRAMATICALLY in the past 6 to 18 months. While all of the complaints you have heard about short sale taking a long time may have, at one time, been true, things are different now.
Why? There are several factors that have impacted the short sale market.
1. Lenders are now fully staffed. Loss mitigation departments that were overwhelmed when this market changed now have trained staff in place to handle the number of files they are accommodating. Lenders are also better able to predict what properties will become short sales, based on offerings of loan modifications and better market information.
2. Training is at a much higher level, both with lenders and with listing agents. One caveat: there are still buyer agents who refuse to acknowledge this segment of the market, bury their heads in the sand, and get information and training for short sales. How well prepared the agents are has a direct impact on how smoothly and quickly the file goes.
3. Most lenders now have STREAMLINED SHORT SALE PROCEDURES, meaning that files which used to take 6 months are approved in 45 days. I had a short sale with Wells Fargo approved in 19 days last month. In addition, lenders such as Wachovia are now giving incentives such as up to $5000 moving bonus to the seller and 30 day approvals. Gone are the days of months and months with no answer.
4. Second and third trust deeds are willing to take much less on their liens, allowing short sales that were held up in the past to proceed.
That being said, every transaction is different, and every lender is different. How cooperative is the seller? How quickly do they get the required documents in to the bank? How motivated are they?
4 months is a L-O-N-G time in this environment. I have put together a list on questions that the buyer's agent can ask of the short sale listing agent, to ascertain how long the file will take, and how able the agent is to deal with it. If you'd like a copy, let me know by contacting me below.
Best of luck.
Deborah Bremner
REALTOR, 00588885
Certified Short Sale Professional
Certified Home Retention Specialist
(D) 818.564.6591
Blogging at: http://TheBremnerGroup.com/blog
0 votes
Jeri Creson, Agent, COVINGTON, LA
Mon Mar 15, 2010
Most of the larger banks are on the ball at this point - though it's true there was quite a learning curve in their "ramp up" time. If you have been waiting an excessively long time for an answer, and your offer is within the fair market range - which can be determined by a carefully done market analysis by your real estate agent, then I suggest you talk to your agent about escalation of the file. There are probably hundreds of thousands of files just hanging out in limbo because they have fallen through the cracks. The way to get a short sale file moving is to make noise and escalate the matter to a higher power. If the agent handling the short sale does not understand how to escalate, you have a few options. Pull your offer, and go elsewhere. Or better yet, have a warm and friendly talk with that agent and suggest that he/she engage the services of a good short sale negotiation team. One I use often (and am not affiliated with, by the way - they're just good) is weshortsell.com - Josh Culver is the owner of the business, and if it can be escalated, he can do it.

Sometimes an agent of a "stuck" file is resistant to this idea, because it usually means giving up some of his/her commission - If you really want the house, and the agent won't budge, how about agreeing to pay the negotiator's fee as part of your closing costs? Short sale responses just don't take 4-6 months anymore. If it's been that long, you need to step it up aggressively.
0 votes
Sgutierrez07, Home Buyer, Lake Stevens, WA
Tue Mar 9, 2010
I have no clue what to do with the place we're trying to buy!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are renting it until it closes...if it EVER does. We put our offer in back in April of 2009, it's March of 2010. Bank of America has ordered at least 7 BPO's, although there is NO REASON for this. The deadline is coming for the first time buyers credit of $8000. It would be nice if it would close by then...Any ideas? Can I get the ball moving?
0 votes
Way2logigal, Home Buyer, Maryland City, MD
Sat Mar 6, 2010
Join the club I have been under contact for about 5 months it would be a cash sale, giving them the price they said was the lowest they'd take... gave a proof of funds . and NADA..
The banks failed because of greed They want me to payall of th prior owners bad paper when the loan was destined for the bailout from the start. They can take a flyng leap out of a corporate jet.

I will take my cash and move to TN No ST tax.....property tax next to nothing. a house Paid In Full....I just may shake hands at Walmart
0 votes
Ntmurphy, Home Buyer, Hayward, CA
Wed Feb 10, 2010
We put an offer on a house in late October 2009. BofA just declined the other day, so a little over 90 days.

We were waiting on appraisals. There are 2 banks involved w/the property, and both were allowed to have independent appraisals. All appraisals came in close to our offer (within $50K), but BofA is disregarding the appraisals and hiking up the price by another $250K.

I guess I need to wait out BofA while they test this price? Or up our offer a little.
0 votes
FirstTimer34, Home Buyer, Detroit, MI
Sun Jan 3, 2010
We are kind of going thru the same thing, except it hasn't been that long since the sellers accepted our offer. Now we are waiting around for the bank to approve and it puts me on pins and needles!!! I cant even imagine waiting 6 months, and especially if your offer is not approved (which I've heard happen) Why is this OK for the banks!!!!!!!!!!! How are you supposed to go out and still search when the houses are going so fast that if you found another one you liked, it would most likely be gone by the time you heard your answer!!!
0 votes
Short Sale V…, Home Buyer, Boston, MA
Thu Dec 31, 2009
We put an offer on a house this past July. It was accepted by the owners and we were excited because we were told by our realtor that the BPO had been done and approved by the bank and we were most likely looking at a 60 day closing. Well, here it is Dec 31st and we still haven't got a signed P&S from the bank. We have been in CONSTANT communication with the attorney who filed the BPO, was told several times that they have a verbal agreement on our offer and will not be conterofferring YET for some unknown reason the bank won't sign the papers. It is so frustrating and upsetting, we have been looking for our first home for 2 years and finally find our dream home and its been a total nightmare! We missed out on the tax credit (thankfully they extended it), and everytime the interest rate jumps so does my blood pressure. The attorney has been wonderful, she has written letters, emails, calls the bank managers etc trying to get this done for us. Word now is that it is sitting on the negotiators desk waiting to be signed, (we have been hearing this for 3 months now), but she was told this again last week. They said nothing will be done until after the 1st of the year. I received an email today from realtors that I signed up with for notification of homes for sale and low and behold "our" house appeared on it. All I can get is that there are no other offers on this house and I think the bank wants backup offers before they decide. This just doesn't seem fair at all. There were 3 offers put in on this house and we offered asking price. Bank verbally agreed yet they still haven't signed off. I wish OBAMA NEVER BAILED ANY OF THE BANKS OUT......they have no ambition to do anything, they got their money already! What a STUPID MISTAKE it was on Obama's part, he should have given them money as they worked with people, not all at once. He did not hold them accountable for their actions, he rewarded them for it, which to me is a disgrace. My only hope now is that the house doesn't go into forclosure and we lose it altogether, although the lawyer said that won't happen. Maybe I should have a friend put a LOW offer in on this house and see if that will move it along? hmmm.......any comments?
0 votes
Noah Seidenb…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Tue Jan 27, 2009
I have had situations where we hear back from the bank within the month, and others where it's taken more than 6 months to get a response. Us Realtors are hoping that the banks start responding quicker in order to move out some of this inventory that has been sitting for an extended period of time. Until the offer has been formally accepted, you are not under obligation to wait any longer if you don't want to. You can move on to another house, or continue to wait. The bank may very well come back and counter your original offer anyway, which could take longer. I wish you luck!
0 votes
William Metz…, , Portland, OR
Fri Nov 14, 2008
The usual minimum is 60 days, if the listing agent has done everything right. You might get lucky and have it happen sooner, but you're more likely to see it to take longer. When bank approval DOES come, be prepared to close almost immediately. That means getting pre-approval from your lender by providing pay stubs, verifications, etc.--everything to get the loan short of an appraisal.

It's highly unlikely that the selling lender will pay closing costs or repairs. Don't ask.

Also, the selling bank has the right to accept a higher offer, even if yours is accepted first.

Remember, these are the guys who brought us credit default swaps.
0 votes
Brittany Sim…, , Columbus, OH
Fri Nov 14, 2008
Frank, you should really be looking for other properties. 4 months is the longest I have ever heard! The National Assoc. of Realtors stated that 80% of all short sales are never approved before going to foreclosure. So, the cards are stacked against you.
0 votes
Anne Stewart, , 97224
Fri Nov 14, 2008
I've had a response on short sales take as short as 30 days approval from a bank and as long as 95 days to hear anything. There are several key insights that are crucial in how quickly your response can take:
1.) Is there more then one loan on the property, more then one and it will usually take 2x as long.
2.) Is the packet totally complete or will they come back and ask for more data or more current data (meaning if the bank statements you submitted go back farther then 2 months make sure your seller provides the most up-to-date info they can) that could have been in the initial packet. Wise listing agents will review the packet and have a checklist so they don't miss anything. Missing info can literally add weeks more to the response time.
3.) Is the price within a reasonable formula for a bank to accept. Did the listing agent drop the price 50% of value only to get offers quickly or can they prove that they "tried" to get higher and came down in price gradually over time. Many deals are lost at the BPO or apprasail the banks will do. Most banks find every 15 days drop the price 5-8% acceptable until you recieve an offer.
4.) Is the offer written so the bank will accept it easily. Putting "sold as-is" is essential. Most banks will even pay closing costs if it makes sense for them on the "net" end of things. If a property is priced extremely below value don't come in trying to get it for free, present the bank a good offer on an outstandingly good priced home and you will reap the rewards when the market turns around!

Short sales require first and foremost patience on all sides. I think agents should consult buyer about the relatively long process and ask their buyers upfront if they are truly willing in a month or two from now to stay in contract if they still hadn't heard anything. Buyers will have time upfront to see if they are willing to wait. It's not for everyone and that is ok.
0 votes
Mary Hayward, Agent, Sheboygan, WI
Fri Nov 14, 2008
Waiting for an answer from a bank on a shortsale depends on the individual bank and how many steps the negociator has to go through to reach a decision. Be patiant with this process, most properties that are going through the short sale process are worth the wait, but do not count on it until you get the approval. Good luck Frank!
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thinz, Agent, Allenhurst, NJ
Thu Jan 17, 2008
Working short sales is now averaging for me about 2-4 months. Much faster for junior lien holders...they want their money quick, and understand they will take a hit - so better to approve it fast so they don't get blamed for slowing things down. The delay I'm seeing is with the first mortgage lender. In some cases, loss mitigators are working on upwards of 100 files per day! This really impacts the most critical part of the short sale negotiation and approval - the BPO process. ASC for example is now saying up to 90 days before the BPO is ordered.
The tricky part is managing the buyers and sellers expectation during this. Once the lender has their legal folks send the first letter of foreclosure being initiated (usually after 90 days delinquent), the pressure gets hotter and service and communication to all parties is important to maintain...especially to you the buyer and the seller. Also -lenders don't like having offers pulled, then new ones submitted...it delays the process even further...for you, you can just walk away..for the short sale specialist (me) and buyer, things get tricky when a buyer pulls out. But I completely understand your reasons to do so. You have to understand going into this kind of transaction that it takes time and patience. Regards.
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