Placed an offer on a house, but the lien holder (CountryWide) haven't given us an answer (4 weeks waiting)

Asked by Alex, Ypsilanti, MI Mon Apr 28, 2008

The home-owner signed off on our offer, but countrywide won't give us a YES or NO. They supposedly sent an appraiser out about a week ago. But, we've been waiting for about 4 weeks now for an answer. Does anyone have an idea for their turn around time?

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Melinda J. R…, Agent, Grand Rapids, MI
Mon Apr 28, 2008
BEST ANSWER
Alex, any way you cut it there is nothing short about a short sale! They take a long time. I know it is frustrating to you as the buyer. Trust me. It is frustrating to us as agents as well. Our hands are tied. The banks are not prepared to handle all of the files that they currently have due to the high number of sellers in this situation. I understand that loss mitagators get paid hourly. I wish they got paid commission...that way they would put more care into what we are trying to accomplish.

Here in West Michigan we put warnings on these listings. I always warn buyers up front that it could be 6 - 10 weeks for the banks to decide if they want to do a short sale or not. Then the bank may not even want to do it, they may counter you, accept your offer and/or accept another higher offer. Last year I worked on one where I got an offer July 2nd and we closed the day before Thanksgiving. They are very time consuming.

Be prepared though because once the bank decides they will accept a short sale, they will want you to close like yesterday. Then they start pushing like crazy to get the deal done, but it will take a lot to jump start them.

If you are in love with the house and willing to wait...hang in there, you might be 1/2 way to an answer. If it isn't everything you hoped for you may want to consider another "alternative" as another agent said. Everyday good properties are being sold from underneath you because you are waiting for a bank that has lack of customer service skills.

On the other hand I feel so bad for the sellers who are trying to get a short sale on their credit report instead of the dreaded "foreclosure." But these banks refuse to make it easy on anybody in the transaction. They work on their time...nobody else's. Let's face it...they really do not want these properties back, but like to make everybody's life difficult in the process. I feel that they are really harming the sellers as well when the seller is willing to assist in getting the property sold. Then I find some buyers are waiting for properties to go into foreclosure so they can get quicker answers. I just recently wrote on a foreclosure and had an accepted offer in 1 hour! Sure does beat several weeks!

It used to be that banks would respond on foreclosures in 4-5 days. Now you almost always have an answer in 2 days...or at least in my experience. I think that the short sale process at the banks need to step up the scale like they have done with the shorter response times on the foreclosures.

It is a gamble if you wait to see if it goes into foreclosure because if you do that then perhaps someone else maybe willing to wait. Not to mention if the banks price them low enough you may be up against competing offers and still wait months to get it as the bank secures the property and can legally get it back on the market.

There is no good scenario when it comes to buying a short sale. Again, my advice is wait if you love it, or if you can live with out it...find something else. (of course if you can within the guidelines of your contract...check with your buyers agent on this.)

I hope this information helps! Best Wishes! (I hope this does not sound too negative.)
Web Reference:  http://www.gomelinda.com/
1 vote
smith3gary, Agent, White Lake, MI
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Alex, If you have a buyers agent, I suggest clarifying this with them.

There are some lenders that are getting a terrible reputation. I wish you luck.
Web Reference:  http://mi-living.com
1 vote
Jackie O'Con…, , Boston, MA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
My experience w/ Countrywide is very bad. We have a short sale that has been signed by the seller since before Christmas. Countrywide has done 3 appraisals, and has fired/had to rehire the last 3 loss counselors. I just suggest you just get patient with this one. By the way, most banks will consider a higher offer than yours and will instruct the listing accept other offers too if they are higher than yours. If you really need to be in a home, I would suggest another alternative. I have also had the bank come back and say not to a short sale because the home owner was not willing to bring some money to the table or take out a loan to make up the difference. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.bouma.com
1 vote
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Alex.....

Sometimes the wait can be 3 - 4 months before the lender gets you an answer. Good communications and patience are key. Good luck.
1 vote
Alex, Home Buyer,
Sat Nov 8, 2008
It's long over due, but we closed on the house August 19th! I took from March 27th till August 19th to close. We got for a steal though! It was worth the wait, but it was very frustrating!
0 votes
Steve Stark, Agent, Sparta, WI
Tue Jul 15, 2008
The seller needs to wait about 4 to 6 weeks
0 votes
Alex, Home Buyer,
Tue Jul 15, 2008
Still waiting... I'll post any updates!
0 votes
Shaun Farrug…, Home Seller, Ypsilanti, MI
Mon Jul 14, 2008
Alex, Did you manage to close on this house?
0 votes
Alex, Home Buyer, Ypsilanti, MI
Tue May 13, 2008
At 6 weeks of waiting and STILL no answer!! Countrywide employees like to sit on their hands and do nothing! I'm personally making sure that no-one that i work with, family member, or friend ever gets a loan, or has anything to deal with this company!! The seller's husband lost his job, so the house will more than likely go into foreclosure, but countrywide doesn't care!
0 votes
, ,
Tue Apr 29, 2008
I work for Countrywide, although all I do is originate loans. A lot of the advice given so far is good. PATIENCE is key. Like Melinda said, lenders are swamped with foreclosures and short sales right now, especially in Michigan. What I can tell you is that on a lot of these loans Countrywide may only be servicing the loans as opposed to owning them or being the primary investor on them, and also in some cases there are multiple liens on the property. It's truly on a case by case basis and no two situations are the same.
Take heart in the fact you're (potentially) getting a great deal on the home, but you have to take the good with the bad and sit tight for an answer
0 votes
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