If you have closed a short sale in the last month or so, how long from contract to approval to close?

Asked by Diana Kryszak, Sarasota, FL Fri Sep 7, 2012

The media does not necessarily have the current pulse. I am not seeing timely closings based on timely approvals. How many buyers walked in frustration and after how long was "enough" enough?

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James Mullig…, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
In my experience, 3 months has been the quickest, 6 - 7 the average and some have gone over a year... and some over a year still fell through. Buying a short sale offering takes a person with inexhaustible patience and a high tolerance for rejection. Most of the successful buyers with whom I have worked were investors with no emotional attachment. If the property did not close, so what, move to the next. For an occupant purchaser the process can be simply too stressful. Only consider buying a short sale if you have plenty of time and no emotional involvement. If it is for your own residence and you might be stressed out by the process, you should consider a standard sale or possibly a foreclosure if you can do some work.

Jim Mulligan
Suncoasteam Realty, LLC
4055 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Web Reference:  http://www.suncoasteam.com
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Maria Cipoll…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
The short sale process is still a mistery. I just have one that it last six months. All depends of the Seller to provide the Listing Agent with all the documents that the Negotiator will be asking and have ready to submitted with the sales contract. But, again each case is different.

Good Luck,

Maria Cipollone
1 vote
Diana Kryszak, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Tue Jul 16, 2013
It is July 15....I am still waiting for approval for a short sale that was supposed to close on April 15. Yes, there is an attorney negotiating, obviously, just not a priority for the investor to close the book on a non performing asset.

Bottom line: unless the bank has already signed off on a pre approve closing price, look elsewhere or be prepared to wait......................
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Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Sat Oct 27, 2012

Short Sales (i.e. Long Sales) are very often a 10 to 1.2 yr train to nowhere!

There are too many good deals on Foreclosures and Re-sales where you can close with less out of pocket to be chasing a dead end Long Sale!


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Diana Kryszak, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Fri Oct 26, 2012
Today I closed a short sale that was listed in May. It had a contract within a week. The first lender approved in August. The first lender granted an extension in September since the second lender still had not approved. We received the second lender approval last week and closed today...just under 6 months. Patience is a virtue and requirement!
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Sandra LaFla…, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Sun Sep 16, 2012
Hi Diana,
I've had a short sale close within 10 days (YES, from contract to approval)! Go figure, it's always interesting, isn't it?! Sandra
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Nina Harris, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Sep 13, 2012
Short sales are not for those who are looking to close in the next 3 to 4 months. I just closed on one last month that took almost 7 months.
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Tammy Mast, Agent, Longboat Key, FL
Wed Sep 12, 2012
I close numerous short sales every year. 95% of them close. They normally take approximately 3-6 months. Most buyers get tired of waiting after 6 months. I have buyers that are in their 6th month and haven't found a home they like better so are sticking it out until another home of equal or greater value arises.

Tammy Mast
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Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Sat Sep 8, 2012
Good afternoon Diana,

I've been helping First Time Buyers for 22 years as a mortgage professional and I will tell you what I have always told my clients here in New York: If you are a First Time Buyer, steer clear of foreclosures and short sales.

Foreclosures are someone else's headache. The home probably has not been well-maintained and you're a First Time Buyer adjusting to paying a mortgage. Do you really want to walk in the door to someone else's deferred maintenance that YOU will have to pay for? Also, if you're thinking there are deals to be had in terms of lower prices, mostly those "deals" go to professional investors who can pay cash, negotiate hard with a Lender, and close fast.

For Short Sales, my attitude of late is that First Time Buyers should steer clear. Short Sales tend to be a better deal for the homeowner than for the Buyer. You'll wait MONTHS for the homeowner's Lender to approve the short sale; maybe as long as Six or Seven Months. Meanwhile, you're stuck in a contract to buy that home. I closed a short sale recently with a Buyer who, after seven months said this at the closing table, "I don't even want this house anymore."

And he didn't even get the "deal" on price he thought he was getting! The house appraised for only slightly more than he paid for it at the short sale price. He walked into this deal thinking he was buying a home for $100,000 less than it's value. In the end that wasn't the case.

There are plenty of motivated Sellers with their homes listed on your local MLS. Go find a good Local Mortgage Banker, get prequalified, then find a great, experienced Realtor, and buy the home you want at the price you're willing to pay. It's a Buyer's Market, after all!

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
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Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Sat Sep 8, 2012

Same old story every time..."Steve, I know you told me to avoid Short Sales, but the Listing Agent said it was already approved......

....Fast forward 1 yr later...

...."Steve, I wish we had listen to you, this has been a Nightmare!"

This plays out over and over all over FL!

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Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Sat Sep 8, 2012
According to Uncle Sam most never close.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat Sep 8, 2012

Let's not lose sight of the fact that the "short sale" process in our location has improved greatly. There was a time when no banks were approving these transactions and the vast majority of agents were steering a wide course to avoid these doomed transactions.

With short sales the fact remains that each situation includes a variety of possible situation ramging from easy to impossible. There is not accurate formula for identifying a short sale's time requirement.

I (as well as many other) was hopeful that the new federal regulation imposed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would streamline this process by mandating response time for purchase offers on short sales. The jury seems to be still out on this.......

It's probably best to focus on the level of improvement we have whitnessed and hope for a continuation of this. Experienced short sale agents that truly know and understand the process can help buyers to identify those opportunities that are worthy of persuing as well as when to bail.


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Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Sat Sep 8, 2012
I have seen a new low…

I have one that’s been dragging for 8 months, then we actually closed and funds were sent to the Short Sale lender a week ago last Thurs and it's STILL not fully closed!

Maybe a blind squirrel occasionally can find a nut, but like I’ve been saying, by far, Short Sales are Clown Cars Full of Horrors!
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Sherry Bitner, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Sarasota, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
With the 27 lenders we have, they all require 12 months payments on the mortgage and/or rent payments. If you have paid the mortgage throughout the short sale, then it would mean you could purchase a home immediately after the short sale. If you had not paid the mortgage during the short sale, you would need 12 months rent payments to show you are able to make payments after the short sale. The key element is that the lender will file a Certificate of Title with the Court (public records) and that could take a couple months for them to do so after your short sale. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 941-504-1445 or email me at Sherry@SherryBitner.com for further infomation.
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Leeann Willo…, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
Depending on who is handling the negotiating for the borrower, I have had some come through as soon as 3 weeks. Others can take much longer. Other factors that can influence the timeline are the number of mortgages and how proactive the Seller and Buyer are at providing requested information.
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Leeann Willo…, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
Most Lenders are getting faster. I have had some approvals in as little as 3 weeks and others take much longer. A lot has to do with who is negotiating for the Seller and how proactive the Seller and Buyer are in completeing their paperwork and turning it in.
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Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
Last two short sales time from contract to approval to close.
17 days - Wells Fargo seller's lender
110 days - Bank of America seller's lender

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Green Lion Realty
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Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
From 1 month to 2.5 years.
It is an impossible question to answer without a LOT more information, and even then, it is a S.W.A.G. because of the personalities involved.
Statistically only 70% of short sale offers succeed. The first buyer saw old age approaching and bailed, or they found flipper house available immediately, and bailed, or the bank raised the price and the buyer bailed, or the investor wanted a cash contribution and the buyer bailed and or,my favorite, the big bank who is short selling the property, and funding the buyer,won't approve the buyers mortgage because of the terms and conditions.... they created!!!
Then, let's not overlook the appraisal fix in play by the banks.
There are ways to make a short sale work. But they are not very obvious.
Other than those things, short sales are no problem at all! Each situation is different and all of them are highly complex and thoroughly convoluted. Few buyers have the patience and ability to endure abuse to see a short sale all the way to conclusion.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor, FL
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Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Fri Sep 7, 2012
get ready for an ugly Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!

Shart Sales are a Clown Car Full of Horrors as many find after 10 months waiting on a Hope To Gain!

Don't stop looking for re-sales and foreclosures because that Short Sale bank can care less about buyers trying to buy a home they are being forced to allow to be sold for less than what the owners owe!

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