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David Shipley, Real Estate Pro in Chattanooga, TN

Why does it take the banks so long to work through a short sale. I have been working on one for months.

Asked by David Shipley, Chattanooga, TN Thu Sep 16, 2010

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Hi David

I have one short sale at this time and I have had others. I talked to the person that ok's an offer before sending it on to the bank and I told her buyers do not want to look at short sales now because it takes so long and she said she could get an approval with in 48 hours, I had a good offer and the buyers had a title search and there were some leans on the property I didn't know about. I called the court house and they would not give that information to me, so be careful of the short sales. I also had a buyer that put an offer on a short sale and the agent kept saying it was very close for 6 months and it had leans on it, we didn't do a title search and I almost lost my buyers over it. I think if you find out how long it takes before listing it or making an offer it would be better. The banks will take their time if you don't let them know up front buyers won't look at the property. That may not work every time. If they are really busy with other one's they may want you to fax the same thing more than once as if they didn't receive it the first time. Another thing I learned with one of my other one's I had listed, when the buyer is more than 3 months behind it is going into foreclosure and they don't let you know that until it is re-keyed and Realtor's can't get in with your lock. I have been through it all. If you have the listing call the person you are working with and tell buyers have stopped looking at the property because it is so long. If you are a buyers agent I would be asking the listing agent to find out why it is so long, there could be trouble with it. Hope this helps a little. Linda Anderson Realtor
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Hey David,

They can be a long process. Contact is the most effective way to get them pushed through. But to give you an idea of why it can take a while, when the loan was made it was chopped up into % and sold on wallstreet, etc... Those investors all hold a share of that loan and have a say so in the final outcome. So depending on which bank holds the note sometimes will have an effect on how long it actually will take. When you get an offer, that bank doesn't have the final say so, they sometimes have to get permission from these other share holders as well. That is how the portion of the balance is forgiven. You should have an answer or negotiator and a BPO ordered within 60 days of offer to the bank. How long has it been? Once that BPO is done the process should move quicker.

I will say also that the people that work in the short sale dept usually only have a checklist of items to check yes or no to. If you are missing a document they need or don't have a complete short sale package they will just put it at the bottom of the pile or throw it in the trash. They don't have the ability to make management decisions, their job is to check off the appropriate boxes and pass it down the line. Then once everything is compiled and all relevant documents gathered and appraisals done, etc... it will go to the decision maker and they will decide if this is a loss they are willing to accept or not.

I could go on and on about why it takes so long. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Part of it is the workload and the revolving door of employees. The best advice is to call twice a week to get updates. Sometimes there is no update but it gets noted you called and if there are documents needed you know about it quickly. Banks will not necessarily call you to let you know additional documents are needed. I work with a team who specializes in short sales in the Memphis area and on average it takes 60 days to get an approval. Always send a complete package at one time. That way your file goes in the" to work on pile" and not the "I'll get to it later pile." Perseverance is key.

Best of luck.

Suzanne White
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
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