My husband and I just recently put an offer in on a home that was approved for a short sale. How long can it?

Asked by Ashleigh, El Centro, CA Wed Aug 20, 2008

take to hear back if our offer was accepted?

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Michael Cepa…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Aug 21, 2008
You should here something pretty soon, as you said it was an "approved" short sale, which means everything has been completed and the listing agent already has the contact info and has been negotiating with the bank. The reason 9 out of 10 short sales don't get approved and close is because, usually, the listing agent screwed it up. If the listing agent does his homework and finds out the required info and figures the numbers before listing the property, by pre approving the seller, as they can tell from the beginning if there is a good chance to short sale. Knowledgeable short sale listing agents usually close 85% of their listings. Good Luck
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Frederic Din, Agent, El Centro, CA
Thu Aug 21, 2008
Congratulations Ashleigh, thank you for your question.

** I am located in Imperial County, CA **

A short sale is a process in which the home seller sells their home for less than what is owed to satisfy the liens (mortgages) outstanding on their home. Typically the sellers have some type of hardship which is required by the lender in order to agree to sell their home in this fashion. A seller goes the short sale route to show good faith in trying to resolve their actual or potential late payment mortgage problems. Should the lender not agree to a short sale, the lender will eventually take this property back on their books many months from now and for a much greater loss than by agreeing to the short sale.

If the sellers lender(s) or loss mitigation staff have already "approved" the ability for a short sale, then you should be able to close within a regular escrow time frame, typically 30-60 days or so.

However, if the lender has not approved the ability for a short sale and you sent your offer in with the sellers short sale package, you could be in for quite a roller coaster ride.

There are several components that go into a short sale package and if the package is not complete or to the liking of the loss mitigation staff (the lenders collection people) then the short sale ability may not get approved, which may or may not have anything to do with your offer, since they are two independent processes.

I agree with others that your real estate agent will have keep on top of the negotiations and ensure all of the items are handled with the sellers agent and their lender.

Buying a home through a short sale (pre-foreclosure) can be a great way to buy real estate and the lenders are coming around as well, however there is still much work to be done.

You may have considered properties that are listed as "bank owned" or REO properties, which would indicate the home has been acquired by the bank or lender who owns the loan and now they are trying to sell the home to recover their losses. There are still negotiations with buying a bank owned or REO property, however the seller (lender) is much more motivated to get rid of the home at this stage.

The key with any transaction is constant open communication. If there is a breakdown within the flow of communication, it typically lends itself to misunderstandings and transactional errors.

I wish you the best of luck as you embark on your journey of home ownership!


(my answers are a courtesy to my readers and are my opinions soley, as such they should not be construed as legal advice in any fashion or form and are to be used for educational /illustrative purposes)
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Chris Casmir…, , 34135
Wed Aug 20, 2008
It depends on the lender and how far they are in the process. Some can take several months. In florida they are taking 2 -3 months.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Aug 20, 2008
6 months!!! the first thing you need to do is ask the listing agent how far along the short sale is. Namely as the seller been approved financially for the short sale, has the bpo and/or appraisal been done? those items are usually the deal killer. You will want to stay in constant if not daily contact and make sure the listing agent calls or emails the asset manager daily to see if they need anything. It usually takes 3-4 months but can be 6. Im sorry to report 9 out of 10 short sales dont close. it is a long tough road in which patience is a must. If they have thos efirst two items done and approved then you wiull be on the way to closing and up the ratio. Good luck
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Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Wed Aug 20, 2008
Short Sales are a little tricky, but your realtor will stay on top of that for you. Often, I find that maintaining good rapport with the seller's agent helps. A lot will depend on which company is looking at taking the property back should the owners default. Ask your agent which bank or lender has the papers and if they can find out how efficiently that particular lending institution has handled recent short sales in your area.
They will know other agents who have dealt with them and be able to hear how the deals went.
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