we are looking to buy a home that is listed as a short sale but no one is living there.will it take us long to find out if our offer was accepted?

Asked by Nwalachowska, Niles, IL Mon Jun 13, 2011

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Ranj Mohip’s answer
Ranj Mohip, Other Pro, Chicago, IL
Tue Jun 14, 2011
There are 2 acceptances that occur on a short sale. The first acceptance is for the offer that you made to be accepted by the seller. Most of the time, this acceptance is "subject to bank approval." This acceptance should happen within a day or two of the offer.

The second acceptance is the bank accepting the contract that was signed by you and the seller. This is what can take months. Good luck.

Attorney Ranj Mohip is a Chicago real estate attorney. The information in this answer is general information and is not intended as legal advice. Further, answering this question or otherwise contributing as a member of Trulia.com does not create an attorney-client relationship. Remember--consult the best real estate attorney in Chicago or in your respective area.
2 votes
Phoebe Co, Agent, Glenview, IL
Sun Nov 13, 2011
Thank you for a great question. Nowadays, banks have been more proactive in streamlining its short sale process. I observed there are lesser waiting time for short sale deals to close. I always tell clients to have a back up strategy, like having some place to move to ( maybe relatives' home or rent month to month) in case the closing would be postponed. The realtor professional is also instrumental in the success of the transaction if there is constant coordination with attorney working on the paperwork involved. I have had training as a Certified Distressed Property Expert ( CDPE) and have taken the designation as Short sale and Foreclosure Expert. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://PhoebeCo.net
0 votes
Wayne Beals, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Jun 17, 2011

Great question. While I can't specifically answer because I don't know the specifics, I can help explain the process so you can ask your agent the right questions.

When a short sale is placed on the market, it is always done so with the permission of the current owner. It's very important to understand that the current owner is the title holder of record and not the bank. Once a property is foreclosed the bank has the opportunity to transfer title into their possession, which gives the the authority to sell the property. These sales are REO (Real Estate Owned). In IL, only the title holder can offer a property for sale.

With that said, a property that is on the market, vacant or not, is being sold with the permission of the owner. Why does this matter? Because if the owner is uncooperative, it's unlikely that a property can be resolved in any way except through foreclosure. Once you place your offer on the property, one of three situations will happen:

1. Your offer will be accepted in writing by the seller with a bank approval contingency. At this time, the bank approval process starts, which can include a BPO (Broker Price Opinion) to verify that your offer is at fair market value and that the terms of you offer are in line with the property's condition. For example, if you are using FHA financing, and the property is heavily distressed, the bank may be reluctant to approve your deal unless you have a 203K (repair/renovation financing) loan. This is the best start to a short sale, but is not a guaranty that you will have an opportunity to close.

2. The seller could reject or counteroffer.

3. The seller could verbally accept your offer and tell you to "hang in there." In this scenario, the seller is not obligated to take your deal, but is utilizing it to frame the bank approval. Once the bank approval is obtained they may likely go with your deal, or any other at the table that fits the requirements of the bank.

It's important to get an agent that understands the short sale process. Once you have a great agent, it's equally important to have an experienced real estate attorney. This way, you can track the process with targeted questions that let you know the status, as best as possible. To be clear, currently short sales are never certain transactions. If you need more clarity and certainty, this is not the transaction for you. Most importantly, you have to keep looking and your options open until you have a firm deal. Every bank has a different short sale process and different motivations. Some banks actually make more money on paper when they foreclose. The different incentive structures that banks have can doom some short sale request. It's impossible to know exactly what's going on behing the bank's firewall, so don't over-think it. The best deal in the market is the one you have that can close!

Wayne Beals
Keller Williams
312 77 BEALS
312 772-3257
Web Reference:  http://www.waynebeals.com
0 votes
Anetta Bani…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Jun 14, 2011
It depends on the few factors:
1. How fast the bank is
2. How helpful seller will be
3. How good is the agent representing a seller.
I am working with a lot of banks that take them only 2-3 weeks to give you an answer. Some banks it can take them even a few months to respond.
Very important is how seller is going to cooperate with his agent. I have clients that are able to provide all nesesery documents within 2days ,some of them it can take even few weeks.also some sellers can delay the whole process to live in their house for free.that's not fair to the buyer but it happens a lot. Also some agents are not experienced with short sale and it also delay closing. Good luck and hopefully your waiting time won't be that long!
0 votes
Anthony Cava…, Agent, Jolier, IL
Mon Jun 13, 2011
60-120 days on average, but it could be much more or much less.
0 votes
Tracey Martin, , Salinas, CA
Mon Jun 13, 2011
You should know if the seller accepted your offer in a few days. However, the offer then has to go to the seller's lender/servicer, because the sellers are asking the investor that owns the loan to take a loss. It is never easy to predict. Some lenders will get an answer to you in as little as 2 weeks. Then there are times when it takes more than 6 months to get an approval. The average seems to be about 90 days. The quickest approval I ever got was 2 weeks. The longest took 2 years. Short sales require patience. It is one of those "prepare for the worst and hope for the best situations." Good Luck
0 votes
Karen Breedl…, Agent, Mentor, OH
Mon Jun 13, 2011
Sadly, there really is no way of knowing how long it will take the lender to respond to your offer. The fact that the home is vacant has no bearing on the offer - nor the lender's response to it. Personally, I have represented buyers who were able to close a short sale in as little as 50 days...others have been over 5 months! Even if your buyer's agent is continually following up, there is simply no way to calculate how much time the lender will take.

Some lenders seem to have efficient lines of communication in place - others are a nightmare of redundant requests and long response times. When there is more than one lien of the property, the process is multplied by the number of lien holders.

But, if it is the house of your dreams, at a great price and you have all the time in the world to close then go for it. Be prepared to wait, expect delays and find a great agent experienced in the process. Wishing you all the best!

Karen Breedlove
Howard Hanna - Mentor OH
Quality Award Winner
Million Dollar Producer
0 votes
Mary LOU Sci…, Agent, Evanston, IL
Mon Jun 13, 2011
Dear Home buyer,
Short sales are certainly missed named! There is no way to tell how long a short sale will take or how long it will take to get your offer accepted. It has nothing to do with whether or not the house is vacant or not. If you have any deadlines, you need to know it takes considerable amount of time to get them approved & a lot depends on the listing agent, if they have their sellers short sale packet approved from the beginning or not. Just make sure you have a good buyer's agent that will follow up with the listing agent to get your offer in and to keep on top of it. If you need any further advise in the Niles area, please don't hesitate to call or email me.

Mary Lou Scinto Allen
Coldwell Banker/Martin & Marbry
Top Producer
Skokie, IL
Web Reference:  http://www.MLSallenhomes.com
0 votes
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Mon Jun 13, 2011
Hi Nwalachowska,

The property being vacant or occupied doesn't factor into the length of time a Short Sale takes to be approved by the lender/investor (if it's approved, that is).

The length of time for a Short Sale to be approved by the lender/investor depends on many factors such as: how many liens are on the property, the lender/investor, how many files the lender/investor is working on, etc.

Do not lose hope on purchasing a Short Sale though. Just keep in mind you need to be patient. I've had Short Sales approved in under 24 hours, in 5 1/2 months, and everywhere in between. And, then, once they're approved, you ususally have a 30-45 day Escrow after that.

Good luck.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes
Carmen Brode…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Mon Jun 13, 2011
Short sales can take a very long time regardless of whether or not the home is occupied.
0 votes
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