Short sales can be frustrating and often it seems ridiculous that the banks take so long. From my experience, this time period does seem a bit longer than usual, after the bank has countered on price. Your agent should be calling the listing agent for updates at least once a week and making sure that the listing agent is calling the bank. Banks will often close a file after making one attempt to reach the listing agent (where they don't even leave a message) and the only way to know this is if the listing agent calls for status and hears that the file is closed. This may or may not be the case in your situation.
Here are a few reasons why banks take so long in approving short sales:
1. They can. The negotiator usually has a certain number of days (10 - 45 days) to complete the analysis once they have all their information (accepted offer, appraisal, payoff information, etc.) and trust me, they wait right up until the deadline date to do it in most cases. Then, once they are done with the analysis, this is not the end, because . . . . . .
2. Most Short Sale Lenders you are dealing with do not OWN the loan, they only SERVICE it. This means, once they push you to the highest number they can AND complete their analysis, they then have to send it to the OWNER or investor for approval. The investor usually has 30 - 45 days to review the file and get it back with approval, denial, or another counter offer. And there might be one other layer, because . . . .
3. Some loans are also insured. The insurance company has to sign off on the amount being taken, as they are left holding the bag for the balance not paid through the short-sale. Some lenders send the final analysis to the investor and MI company at the same time (parallel processing), other send to one, wait for an answer and then send to the other (serial processing). This can take another 10 - 45 days.
So . . . ., as long as you have verified that the file is still open and in processing all you need is patience. In short-sales, he with the most patience wins.
One other caution, have YOUR agent run new comps. If the value of properties has fallen significantly in your area, you may not appraise at a November purchase price. You need to know this before the bank approves the short sale at the current sales price, just in case you need to negotiate a lower sales price.
Hang in there. Your home is out there waiting for you. You just need patience, perseverance, a great Realtor who fights for you. Dare to Dream.
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty