If you have an executed contract with the Seller, and it has been presented to their lender, you are certainly ahead of just the "offer" stage. It all depends on the seller's lender/loan and how far into the process their Agent or Loss Mitigation Consultant has gotten. If the seller's loan is FHA and you are offering something that matches the Net of their previously-received Approval to Participate, the wait time should be relatively short (10 business days or shorter). If the seller's loan is Conventional and they've already had a prior offer, and your offer is very close to that one, again, your wait time shouldn't be awful.
The wait time can become extensive when the offer you're presenting is the very first contact the Listing Agent has made with the Lender. Although each lender varies with their speed, most banks do have a much more streamlined process than they used to. The best way to find out is for your Agent to pose the questions above to the Listing Agent of the property you've selected.
Consider the money you could spend in inspections or appraisals that you wouldn't get back if you decide to walk away because of timing. You might make sure, if you're obtaining mortgage financing, you keep a file of current documentation (paystubs, bank statements), so that it's not so cumbersome when your lender asks you to update your information for their loan file, should it take longer than normal. It takes a Loan Officer and Processor who have experience in handling short sale purchases to coordinate getting everyone to the table in a timely manner. I often refer to this process as though we are herding cats! ;-)
I've successfully negotiated hundreds of short sale transactions since 2006. They can be a fantastic buy. Just take some deep breaths and know you're likely getting a great deal on your purchase!
Progressive Southern Loss Mitigation
The Michael Group Real Estate
Cell/Text (214) 830-9078
Office (469) 361-3744
Efax (972) 591-4558 or 866-380-3986
Search the MLS http://www.clairmcelroy.com
Take Lynns' advice because it's similar to what I tell my cleints, "Don't get to attached to this house and let's keep looking. Because of the number of Short Sales, banks have gotten slower than they were in the past. It's taking up to six months before they review your offer in some cases. So keep looking and see what else is on the market.
You could have either an immediate response OR NEVER hear back from bank it all dpends.
Any offers to have a bank have drama NOT DUE TO buyer/listing agents. We instruct our clients although we submitted an offer ALSO best keep moving on . I have been an agents on both sides of short sale transaction.
National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Mortgage Loan Officer, Lecturer regarding Credit Repair