There actually is one option - if the escrow is with Chicago Title. They have a Short Sale Escalation program that may be helpful.
I am representing a Seller in a BofA short-sale with investors. We started the process in June, submitted a good offer in August, and the approval is still outstanding as of date. Like many others have mentioned below, the bank operate on its own clock. The Seller's agent may try hard to follow-up and push for escalation, but at the end of the day, it is still a waiting game.
From the Buyer's perspective, you may talk to your agent about your options. It'd be helpful to go review the market trend in the last couple of months and project what it will be like in the next few. If you can find a property that you equally like, in the price you can afford, and can close quicker, then go for it and cancel the short-sale offer when your offer is accepted. Keep in mind there may be ramifications if you have deposits in the escrow and/or depends on the terms on your contract. You should discuss with your agents before making this decision.
On the other hand, the market is experiencing an upward swing in the Bay Area, so if you feel you've locked in a pretty good price with your current property, then it's probably advisable to patiently wait for the approval, especially if you really like the property. Good luck!
Annie Chang, REALTOR
Sequoia Real Estate
What are people's thoughts...as a buyer if I should move on or wait it out? Thanks!
I just ran a short sale transaction, same bank, same deal with a 2nd held by a "B of A Investor". This is code for, it's gonna take a long time:) My transaction took 10 months to close, all because B of A couldn't get their crap together. We closed that one in July. We hung in there and managed to get it done. If you really like the house you're trying for, it'll be worth it....
One new tool I found out about during the process was Twitter. All the big companies have a social media presences today and B of A is no exception. I found that the Twitter feed @BofA_Help gives you a direct line to the bank. What did I use this for as the buyers agent? When the asset manager that the listing agent was connected to decided to stop returning phone calls and went a week or two with no contact, I would fire or a Tweet to BofA_Help (including the home address) and ask them tell contact the asset managers boss, and let them know the asset manager is ignoring the transaction/agents.
We were actually successful in replacing the asset managers, twice, for in-action. I don't think my buyer would have hung in there had we not used this little tool. But it all worked out and we managed to get it closed. My only recommendation, if you choose to do this is, make sure both buyer and sellers agent are on the same page and coordinate this contact together. The buyer or the buyers agent can initiate this Twitter thing, but the bank is only authorized to speak with the sellers agent, so get everyone on the same page first.
I hope this helps!
Long time element is a given for most short sales .
An experiences listing agent can make sure to provide all necessary documents up front and keep in constant contact with the negotiator which has been known to speed things up .But typically once it's with the investor ...you wait until they review it and give the thumbs up or thumbs down.
I'm answering just to keep up with any suggestions anyone may have. In my experience once it's in the investorâ€™s hands, all that can be done has been done and it's up to them and their process to come to a conclusion in their own time.
Getting a file up to this point however can be sped up by having experience short sale negotiators handling the file and a seller willing to cooperate with the process. Before I submit an offer on a shortsale, I try and find out all I can to ensure my buyer's best chance of success.
Then, when we submit an Offer, I caution them about the looooooooooong time element.
I am reminded of the kid in the back seat, on a loooooong trip asking; "are we there yet?"
You obviously need to be reminded about the loooooooooooooooooooooong time element!