We just put in an offer on a Bank of America short sale, how long should we expect to go thru the process?

Asked by Vicky, Burbank, CA Thu Sep 29, 2011

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Kevin and Ju…, Agent, Wildomar, CA
Tue Oct 18, 2011
BofA has really fine-tuned the short sale process, but the listing agent is the key to your success. If they have experience with the Equator online portal that BofA uses for short sales, and know what they are doing, it will take 30-45 days for the approval. Ask your agent to stay on top of the listing agent for status updates, and good luck!

Kevin McLaughlin
Berkshire West Realty
2 votes
Deborah Brem…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Sep 29, 2011
No one can answer this and predict, with any degree of accuracy, how long your short sale, or in fact ANY short sale, will take. There are so many variables, not the least of which are:
1. How motivated is the seller? How quickly will they respond by getting the bank the documentation they require?
2. How well trained is the listing agent? Have they specialized in short sales? What is their closing ratio? Do they have a list of go-to escalators that they can call at the bank to move the file forward, people who know them by name and have a track record with them?
3. Who is actually handling the negotiations? The agent, or a third party negotiator? What is their closing ratio? What is their average timeline?
4. Has the appraisal or BPO been ordered? Is the short sale pre-approved?
5. How busy is the bank? Does the bank negotiator answer to a third party? Or can they make a direct decision?
6. One loan or two? Any other additional liens, such as HOA dues or tax liens?
As you can see, TOO MANY VARIABLES. Anecdotally, I had a Bank of America/ Bank of America short sale this year, submitted in February. The first TD approved on March 7. The second approved on August 15. Same bank, same transaction, different departments. The second lost the file 3 times and had to reassign and start over.
Hope this helps, and best of luck;
Deborah Bremner
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) (310) 800-2954
Accredited Buyer Representative|Certified Distressed Property Expert |Pre-Foreclosure Specialist Certified
I want you to know that I appreciate any referrals from friends and associates who may be in the market to buy or sell real estate. You can count on me giving them the same high-quality service I provide to all of my clients.
1 vote
John El Hana…, , 19087
Tue Jan 10, 2012
It varies from a case to another! when dealing with short sales or foreclosures, always expect surprises..But if you are not in a hurry you can get pretty good deal sometimes :). I which you best of luck in your endeavor.


0 votes
Daniel Klein, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sat Jan 7, 2012
Expect the process to take longer than you want. Although the average short sale over the past 6 months in Los Angeles has averaged 63 days, there are many reasons why your transaction may take less or more time.

Ultimately, the selling agent has to be on top of the game, but the owner of the mortgage makes the final decision. If one has a realtor who is direct with the bank, and asks the right questions, short sales can be put together relatively quickly.
0 votes
Nancy Bukows…, Agent, Layton, UT
Wed Oct 19, 2011

The Selling Agent could be on top of his/her game and push BOA to expedite (what we call "escalate") the file to get a faster response, but I have personally experienced situations where that was done 4+ times. Each response time given was as follows: 7-10 days to review the file, then 4-6 weeks for the approval. Sounds pretty cut and dry, but in the 5th week the file was once again moved to a "new negotiator" or they are "missing" a documents (listing agent must upload through Equator again) or the file was "lost" - each time that happens, the process starts over... and the wait is longer and longer!

Despite BOA's attempt to streamline the Short Sale process through the Equator System (unlike other banks), there is no telling how long they will actually take to give an approval. Several factors come into play: Has the property been issued a notice of default, has a trustee Sale been set within the next 45 days, is the offer submitted a reasonable offer or low ball, are the current owners in a BK situation - sometimes its just a matter of NO forward movement (such as ordering a BPO/ Appraisal) on BOA's part. On top of all that, I have been told that BOA is receiving a monthly allotment (a "payment") from the Fed Gov't for each file in the Equator System (not verified, but plausible) - I could see this happening, which would make sense why a file "gets lost" or is "re-assigned" to a new negotiator and the time frame rolls on month after month.

You have a greater success of getting your offer accepted quickly if the Listing Agent has the contacts and language skills to discuss directly with BOA, most Agents do not. Find out if the Listing Agent is using a skilled negotiator (sometimes a former bank negotiator that worked on the other side and knows the in's & out's) on their team, with a HIGH track record of successful short sale closings (negotiated vs closed ratio) - this is a key determination on how long you can expect to wait.

I have personal experience with BOA, in both situations (speedy approval/ 2 yr waiting). I personally use a skilled negotiator (one that actually worked for Chase Bank as a negotiator for 17 years) He is a Licensed Agent now and makes a killing with his Short Sale Negotiating Company. He knows the in's & out's and pierces through most of the BS quickly, but there are those "quirky" times even he is stumped why the Bank takes so long to give an approval or not one at all. His success rate is about 92%, the best I have seen!! (remember - the Listing Agent [or short sale negotiator they use] sales negotiated vs their closed ratio is very important to your success as a Short Sale Buyer!)

I also want to encourage you to be patient... remember - the Listing Agent & your Agent have NO control over the situation, HONESTLY!!! In the end, even with the best negotiators, it is all up to the Bank (or the financial entity/ person holding the "Note" which BOA is servicing) whether or not they will accept a short payoff and how quickly they want to get the "toxic asset" off their books. No one "really" knows what is going on internally; no one knows why BOA approves one quickly and others take so long.

I wish you the best of luck and encourage you to keep your eyes open and keep looking; something better may actually pop up while you are waiting and you don't want to miss it.
0 votes
Vicky, Home Buyer, Burbank, CA
Tue Oct 18, 2011
Thank you so much for all your answers, input and well wishes. We are still waiting for the bank's response. Thank you!
0 votes
robert Curran, Agent, Dearborn, MI
Tue Oct 18, 2011
The time frame is normal, however, if the Seller submits all the necessary documents in a timely manner, the process can move along quicker.
0 votes
Nancy K Smith, Agent, Dodgeville, WI
Mon Oct 17, 2011
I am currently in the process of negotiating with Bank of America on a short sale. They tell you to be prepared to wait 4-6 weeks and that is pretty much on target for my offer. My seller only had 1 mortgage. If the seller has a 2nd and/or a 3rd mortgage on the property, the agent may need additional time to negotiate settlements with those lien-holders, which can add time to the process. I have found Bank of America's process to be somewhat efficient; when I complete the tasks they ask of me, they usually let me know within 1-3 business days of a response, usually sooner. Good luck with your offer!
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Mon Oct 17, 2011
Be prepared to wait 3-6 months for a response and then don't be surprised if the response you get is either "NO" (80% of the time) or you get a counter offer that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Were I you, I'd terminate your offer now and go out and find a motivated Seller or a foreclosure both of which are much easier, have significantly higher suceess outcomes and you could be in a home within 6 -8 weeks of making your offer.

Regardless of what you choose to do, I wish you the best of luck!
0 votes
Justin Ruzic…, Agent, Greenville, SC
Mon Oct 17, 2011
short sales take 45 days with BOA their system is perfect, the other reason it takes longer is because sellers are lazy to get financial info to agent of the agent is too lazy to follow up with BOA properly. Here is a reference on short sales, real estate, investing and even BOA specials right now for sellers. (i.e. sellers getting $5000+ for doing a short sale) http://wp.me/1MLJl

best of luck
0 votes
Susie Shorts…, Agent, Boston, MA
Sun Oct 16, 2011
Short sales are a lot more complicated than a normal real estate transaction. They require the additional step of getting the lenders approval to allow the seller to sell the house for less than they owe. This extra step can sometimes take an additional 2-6 months. Longer, if it’s not handled properly. I completed a short sale last May and it took 3.5 months. It was worth the wait for the buyers!
Web Reference:  http://www.c21shawmut.com
0 votes
David Akram , Agent, Granada Hills, CA
Tue Oct 11, 2011
Good luck!
Time frame for a short sale varies between 3-6 months.


David Akram
Realtor, DRE# 01891274
Century 21 All Moves
Web: http://www.DavidNewHome.com
Blog: http://blog.davidnewhome.com
Web Reference:  http://www.DavidNewHome.com
0 votes
Mimi Davies, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Oct 10, 2011
Hi Vicky

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Stay in communication with your Realtor and the short sale rep. They'll keep you posted on the progress. I suspect the timescale is on average up to 3 months.

Have a wonderful day
Mimi Davies
0 votes
Abu Musa, Agent, New York, NY
Sat Oct 8, 2011
Normally 3 months.Some time could be 6 months or more. Thank you.
0 votes
Mealine Edwa…, Renter, Coconut Creek, FL
Sat Oct 8, 2011
about three months...but could be up to six months if the sell ask for an extentioln
0 votes
Vicky, Home Buyer, Burbank, CA
Tue Oct 4, 2011
Thank you so much for your answers! We happened to fall in love with a short sale property, and the wait will be well worth.
0 votes
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Oct 4, 2011
Hi Vicky:

Hang in there... it could take up to 3 to 4 months to get the final approval....be optimistic...it may be less!

Good luck!

All the best,

0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sat Oct 1, 2011
We just got a new ADVISORY from BoA:
They advise that their Shortsales will take 5 to 16 weeks, depending.....

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
Nick Mercado, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Oct 1, 2011
Hi Vicky,
No one really knows how long the process will take, since every lender is and processes short sales a litle different .A lot has to do with how experienced your agent is and how knowledgeable he is in dealing with short sales since they are very different than a regular sale. I've done short sales in as litle as three months and as long as six months.My advice is if you are getting a good deal, hang in there and you will have sunshine at the end of the tunnel.

Nick Mercado
Keler Williams Realty
0 votes
Marc White, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Thu Sep 29, 2011
I heard recently that it's about 90 days, my experience indicates much longer. If anything comes up, plan to spend months correcting any issues. My last two BoA's lasted 180 and 425 days.
0 votes
Lauryn Eadie, Agent, Reston, VA
Thu Sep 29, 2011

you should expect 60-90 days for short sale approval and another 30 days for settlement. Occasionally you will get a response, counter or approval in 45 days, but it can and often takes 60 -90 days.
0 votes
Harold Sharpe, Agent, LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ
Thu Sep 29, 2011
Generally speaking 45-60 days.
FYI the listing agent usually deals with the lender on the short sale. Sometimes they farm that out to others.
Just because B of A is the Servicer does not make B of A the Investor or the true holder of the note.
Then there is mortgage insurance companies.
Then the bank wants to get into the property, there can be a delay there on the sellers part.
Then there is the info the bank requires of the seller to qualify for a short sale. Here again the sellers can delay this for awhile. Usually when you make an offer to purchase in California, most people allow for 45 days for the short sale portion to be resolved and then begin escrow.
Ask your agent to call their agent EVERY WEEK on Tuesday or Thursday and that keep you informed on the progress.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
0 votes
Eric J Soder…, , Pleasanton, CA
Thu Sep 29, 2011
Hi Vicky,

For all you need to know about short sales, go to the web reference below. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Best Regards,

Eric Soderlund
0 votes
Cordelia Tull, , Brooklyn, NY
Thu Sep 29, 2011
Base on my personal experience doing short sales with Bank of America - can be a long process. I suggest, if you are working with a Realtor, push him to push BOA - they have a bad habit of sitting on short sale offers. The broker will have to make sure he submits all the required documentation together and immediately as requested. Also make sure that you are mortgage ready to purchase - do not just go on a pre-approval. Have your Loan Officer go over all you financials and credit and make sure you are ready to go just in case you are lucky to get the short sale approval. They ususaly only give you thirty days to close - sometime shorter..

Best of Luck

0 votes
Rich Bennett, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Thu Sep 29, 2011
Hi Vicky-

I'm representing a buyer on a short sale through BofA, 2 loans both with BofA, and it's been a slow process. That's very "normal" (if there is a such a thing) with respect to short sales. They key is to hang in there but to also continue to look at other property. I'm sure your agent has been guiding you through this and is setting your expectations accordingly. Best of luck.


Rich Bennett, Realtor

http://www.LansingStCondo.com http://www.115-117States.com

Zephyr Real Estate
Web Reference:  http://www.RichBennettSF.com
0 votes
Heather Wrig…, Agent, The Dalles, OR
Thu Sep 29, 2011
Hello Vicki
This is a hard question to answer. It depends on how many loans their are. Short sales are anything but short when we are speaking of time. You will need to be very patient. Just be sure to have good communication with your agent. Hopefully the agent on the listing end has good communication with the bank. They are very time consuming. Good luck!
0 votes
Vicky, Home Buyer, Burbank, CA
Thu Sep 29, 2011
Thank you all so much for the information. I will ask the agent of what type of short sale is it. The listing agent submitted our offer to the bank, the current home owners already have all the short sale paper work done. This property had actually openned escrow a few months earlier but the buyer dropped it. We are getting a conventional loan with a 20% down. Thank you for your responses!
0 votes
Richard "RJ"…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Thu Sep 29, 2011
Do you know if there is also a 2nd loan... makes a huge difference, especially if there is a 2nd, who is it...
I have successfully completed hundreds of short sale transactions and not one has closed from start to finish in less than 3 months.

When you are a buyer on a short sale, just be patient. If it is a property you really want, it will be worth the wait.
Richard "RJ" Kas (SFR, SRES)
"Representing the finest properties from Los Angeles worldwide"
KAS Properties - Coldwell Banker Previews International - Beverly Hills South
166 N. Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310.859-5334 office - 310.488.9826 mobile - 310-273-0690 fax ATT: RJ
RichardKas@gmail.com - http://www.RJforLA.com - DRE: 01352771
Sellers Buyers Investors Leasing Consulting
0 votes
Jane Peters, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Sep 29, 2011
This is a tough question to answer. When you say you put in an offer, I am not sure if you mean to the actual sellers, or the sellers have accepted your offer and it has now been submitted with all the rest of the paperwork to the bank? It the latter, then there are so many variables to consider that it would be impossible to guess. The average time for my short sales purchases has been about 3-4 months, but some can happen quicker and some longer. Hopefully the listing agent is experienced in handling short sales and the bank will have a great negotiator on the other side. This is your ideal situation. You should comfortably plan on around 3 months and anything sooner will be a nice gift.
Web Reference:  http://www.homejane.com
0 votes
Paul Argueta, Agent, West Hollywood, CA
Thu Sep 29, 2011
It really depends on the whether the seller is going through the HAFA program or not, and the the only way to find out would be for your agent to ask the listing agent representing the seller to disclose this. Many lenders are under pressure to participate in the government backed program and will recommend, and in many cases urge, the sellers to participate in the program. MY OWN experience has been that most of my HAFA short sales have been EXCEPTIONALLY lengthy and often exceed 6-8 months in order to close. There are advantages to the seller participating in the program, including the fact that the seller may be entitled to monetary incentives at closing (versus walking away with nothing) that I've seen as high as $4,500.00 subject to income verification.

If the sale is a traditional short sale it will close much quicker. I have been able to close traditional short sales in 75 days or less.

Bottom line : inquire as to what type of short sale it is.
0 votes
Deborah Lon…, , Torrance, CA
Thu Sep 29, 2011
Hi Vicky. It makes a difference if you are paying all cash, getting an FHA loan or a conventional loan. I'm assuming you are getting a loan of some kind. The lender you use will matter, as well. B of A loans may take a little longer than smaller banks or mortgage brokers who have many options open to them & are not as back-logged with other loans in progress. If you are getting an FHA loan, plan on needing 6-7 weeks for that portion of the escrow process. As far as the seller-side, which is out of your control, a lot of that depends on the skill & expertise of the listing agent. It also depends on whether there was an accepted offer prior to yours; this can reduce the time needed to approve yours. Good luck to you.
Web Reference:  http://deborahlondon.com
0 votes
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