Is requesting a new negotiator in a short sale going to extend the wait time?

Asked by T-lauren, Los Angeles, CA Mon Oct 17, 2011

We put down an offer on a short sale that was accepted by the sellers 3 months ago, and we are still in a holding pattern waiting for the bank to approve (this started out as a "pre-approved" short sale). The seller's agent is going to request a new negotiator, since this has been dragging on for far too long. Does this mean we have another lengthy wait in front of us, while a new negotiator looks over the file? The seller's agent has been doing a great job of keeping on top of the bank, and calling on a daily basis, but it doesn't seem to help. We are becoming frustrated. Anybody been through this?

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Deborah Brem…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
You have gotten some great information, and some completely WRONG information, in this question.
First of all, Emily is COMPLETELY wrong when she says there are no "pre-approved" short sales. Terms are always subject to negotiation, but price is often already approved by the bank. Kathleen is wrong in her presumption that short sales take about 6 months. A well negotiated short sale with all parties cooperating should tale 15-45 days in today's climate. I've done it in 1 day, 17 days, and average 28 days.
Assuming the seller is cooperating with the bank, and has supplied all the necessary documents, then one of several things may have gone wrong.
1. If this file is being negotiated thru Equator, I've seen the file get stuck because the previous file was never rejected, and so remains "blocking" the new file.
2. Also in Equator, if the lender offers an automatic scrubbing for HAFA, (hence the term pre-approved) and the file does not qualify, the property can get stuck in the HAFA arm of the lender, without being transferred back to regular short sales. This is a common software issue in B of A's back channels.
3. You lost your initial negotiator, and now no one is reassigned.
All of the above, and most other problems, can be fixed by getting the file escalated to a manager or senior negotiator. This is not the time to simply "hang in there". THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE! The listing agent needs to get on the phone and stay on the phone, moving the file up the food chain until a resolution is reached. This is not a time to be nice or timid. Do not hang up until someone solves the problem.
How can you help? Write a letter to the listing agent and INSIST they pass it on to the lender. Use terms like "speak to the media" and "complain to senior management" if your concerns are not addressed. Lenders respond to this.
Allan gives a great response when he suggests you get the file escalated. Contrary to what others say, an escalation will not extend approval time.
Deborah Bremner
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
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1 vote
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Yes, short sales can be very stressful and take a very long time, sometimes they still do not go through or the bank will come back and want a higher price. It sounds like you have a great agent, what is the listing agent saying, they should be in constant contact with the bank or mortgage lender. I had a short sale take 7 months one time due to the bank dragging their feet but things have gotten better in closing times. Your best bet is to go a better idea from the listing agent, have your agent contact them and express to the bank you are only willing to wait to a specified amount of time, then if you receive no response, consider starting your search again.

Much success!
Heather Paul, Realtor
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
Douglas Perez, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
It all depends on what has been submitted to the lender. Mainly lenders look for whether the Seller has a valid hardship(?) and if there is equity in the property( Has a BPO been done?). IF the Seller has a valid hardship and no equity in the property, then the lender's negotiator conveys this to their investor for a short sale approval.

Seller's short sale package(10 items) > Lender's employee received and review it > Lender's negotiator assigned and ordered BPO > Negotiator submitted to investor > SHORT SALE APPROVE!

Good luck,
(323) 285-8864
0 votes
Alisha Chen, , Irvine, CA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Do you mean a new negotiator on the bank side? If so, it should not start from the very beginning again. The turn around rate for bank negotiators are extremely high. Most of my short sales have any where from 1-4 negotiators assigned by the bank. Depending on which bank it is, also designate the probably length of time. Some banks have high amount of foreign investors, who need a lot of education and black & white detailed explanation of why they should accept the offer. Other investors have been updated on the market situation in the U.S. and gave more lead way to the banks without their strict guidelines of approval.

Good thing is that there are activities, so at least things are moving. Hang in there, if the listing agent need something from you, act on it immediately. I've closed many short sales and the one who is on top of things and hang in there usually get a good property at a good price.
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
There are no "pre-approved" short sales. There are only "previously approved prices" or "previously approved buyers with a previously approved price", prices that were approved for 1 or more PREVIOUS buyers, who may have backed out because it took too long. If you don't have any sort of answer from the bank after 90 days, the problem is the listing agent, not the bank.

The current statistic is about 30% of all attempted short sales fail. And, it's not 100% the banks' fault. It's the presentation of "the short sale package" to the bank.

Asking for a new negotiator will probably hold things up, but maybe only by 1-2wks, depending on the bank. The bank is not just approving a price, they're approving you, making sure you're not a family member of the owner.

If you have any other questions, email me directly, I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
Short Sale Expert -
0 votes
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Hi T-Lauren:

First off, what bank is it? And the listing agent should be calling this bank on a daily basis to get a negotiator or supervisor engaged in this transaction, and have it escalated so they do not loose the buyer.

i would suggest that the listing agent call the bank and ask to speak to the supervisor of the negotiator. There is a process that every short sale needs to go through.

Have these things below been done?

1. Has the Seller's short sale package been submitted to the bank, including all of their financials, application, hardship letter, mortgage info, etc.?
2. Is this property eligible for a HAFA short sale? If so, has the application from the seller been submitted to the bank? (FYI, the HAFA process may prolong the process 30 days or longer. It goes to another department for processing.)
3. Has the bank ordered an appraisal or broker's price opinion (BPO) on the property and has it been completed?
4. Has your offer been submitted to the bank with your loan pre-approval letter and evidence of funds to close the escrow?
5. Has the listing agent submitted a Market Analysis of the property to the bank?

And there may be other mandatory required items that the bank requires for the short sale to be approved.

I would suggest that your agent speak with the listing agent to find out if these items have been completed. If not, the listing agent can call the bank and request that the file be escalated for immediate attention.

Good luck. Stick in there if you love the house. Unfortunately, short sale sometimes take up to 6 months to get approved.

All the best,

Kat Becker, Realtor
Prudential California Realty
0 votes
Allan S Glass, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Dear T-Lauren,

It seems we may be missing some of the story, assuming this was a "pre-approved" short sale and that you sent over your offer at the pre-approved price.

However, to answer you question directly, demanding that the file be "escalated" and perhaps even moved to a higher level employee at the bank should expedite the process. Just the opposite of your concern.

Best of luck!

Allan S. Glass
ASG Real Estate Inc. ®
149 S. Barrington Ave, Suite #660
Los Angeles . CA 90049
Mobile: 213.952.9052
Direct: 213.973.8637 (213.97.FUNDS)
Fax: 213.947.4461
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0 votes
Sandra Green…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Yes...any changes to a existing file will extend the time frame.
0 votes
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