I put an offer in on short sale on 11/17/08 and still havent heard a word. Why is this taking so long? There

Asked by Ramona Miller, Virginia Beach, VA Fri Jan 2, 2009

is only one other offer on the property, should this be taking so long?

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Dawn L Miller, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Happy New Year. I wrote a short sale offer for a buyer on May 31, 2008 and we got an answer from the bank by Mid-Nov. and close 2 weeks laters. It depends on the bank and the agent. I hope your agent wrote protective language into the contract enabling you to get out of the contract if it takes more time than you are willing to wait. Good luck!
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Lisa Burrow, Agent, Seattle, WA
Fri Jan 2, 2009
Happy New Year Ramona,

The other agents have all touched upon the meat of what causes the wait on short sales and they are right, all depends on which bank, if more than one lien on the property, etc.

I advise all my clients that if they are going to get involved with a short sale that to expect a wait as the agents seem to lose all control on these types of transactions. As another agent mentioned, lots of nudges are a good avenue but don't always do a trick. I also ask the listing agents if there's going to be a 3rd party negotiator involved..sometimes this speeds the process along as most are skilled in moving along short sales.

I'm not sure how your contract was written but I now am writing any offers on short sales with the right to withdrawl prior to bank approval and me and clients continue to look at other properties just in case the bank doesn't get back to us timely. With rates bouncing the way they were over the summer/fall, I chose to use this tactic now to protect my clients in the event the rates changed during the transaction and an increase would cause them to no longer qualify. This is generallly main problem/concern I run into on these types of transactions because the lenders won't lock in for an extended period of time like that or will charge you to do such. So the timething doesn't just affect you having to wait, but can also affect your payment or qualifcations for that home if the rates go up substantially.

I'd check with agent you are working with to have them follow up. If you love the property, might be worth the wait. If you're over the wait and need to find something, then I'd see if contract was written with the above notation of right to withdrawl prior to bank approval.

I have printed your question out to show my buyers during buyers presentations why short sales aren't always the best choice for those that would like to move soonest.

Hope things work out to your advantage.

Lisa Burrow
RE/MAX Allegiance
Accredited Buyers Representative
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
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Jim Dunlo, , Virginia Beach, VA
Fri Jan 2, 2009
Both agents gave good advive, having said that lets you know how there are no easy answers to your question.All banks and or lending institutions are different.Many, if not all hold the offer waiting for a better one.Your offer often has to go through several approval processes and or committees futher complicating the process.Having said this if you have the ability to wait out the process the rewards are usually worth it in the end. I advise of the delays up front, but you can get more house for your money,Just be patient!
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Nelene Gibbs, Agent, Chesapeake, VA
Fri Jan 2, 2009
Did you submit your offer through the listing agent or did you have a buyer's agent? Either way, you should have your Agent check with the bank to see if they can provice any information. Many times the bank will say they will not respond for a certain period of time and as a buyer it is nice to know what timeframe they work within. Don't hesitate to continue to call. Sometimes they need a little nudge. Each bank is different. I have had some banks respond within two weeks and I have others take as long as eight to ten weeks. If the property is a good deal and you can wait it out it will be worth it.
Best of Luck!
Nelene Gibs, e-Pro, Realtor
Chesapeake/Virginia Beach
Web Reference:  http://www.homesbynelene.com
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Kevin and Mo…, Agent, Ocean City, MD
Fri Jan 2, 2009
Ramona, Unfortunately, the purchasing of a short sale listing is not an easy process. Many lenders are not as motivated to sell 'short" as they were just a few months ago. I've had several lenders tell me that they would rather hold onto the bad debt a little longer, and when they are "bailed out", it will reduce or eliminate the loss they have to take on the property.

Having said that, that is not the case with all lenders. But it does take a ridiculous amount of time to get anything done. Do you know if the current owner has more then one mortgage? If there is a first and a second mortgage, those two lenders have to agree on the sales price and work it out between them. Even though the first mortgage is in the primary position, the second mortgage must be satisfied in order to convey title to the new owner. This will make the process take longer. Getting one bank to respond is a challenge. Now multiply that by two.

If you are buying the short sale property for an extreme value, it is worth the wait. If the value of the property has changed (depreciated) while you are waiting out this process, then it's not such a good deal.

Good luck.

Monica McNamara
Ocean City, Maryland
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Drew Hitt, , Virginia Beach, VA
Fri Jan 2, 2009
I'm not surprised if you don't hear anything until February. In the short sale process, banks don't look at the file UNTIL an offer is presented. So most of the waiting game is getting that offer. Then the bank will look at the file and see if it financially makes sense for them to accept. There may be some more negotiating involved, or they may want to wait for another offer. The short sale game is one for patient people that don't HAVE to buy, but would like to get a good deal if they can wait it out.

My fastest short sale was 22 days from package sent, to accepted. But you have to take into account that I submitted the package as the buyer and also put in the offer. So there was no waiting for an offer, or making sure the right paper work was filled out. We did it all immediately and stayed in touch to make sure things went perfect. There was a lot of other things I did that most people won't be willing to do, but when a homeowner is in need, I gotta pull out all the stops and make it happen.

It's possible, but usually not likely...

If your house needs work and is a short sale, I'm much more likely to get my offer accepted in a more timely fashion than any agent could, unless of course they are buying it themselves and have done the number of short sales I've done to know the ins and outs.

Hang in there, and stay in touch with the agent.
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