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A typical seller should respond within 48 hours. But it is merely the first leg of the race.Here is an excerpt from one of my posts for potential short sale buyers:Buying a short sale property is not for everyone. There are some buyers that are more apt to handle the short sale buying process. The key criteria to purchase a short sale process is that a buyer must be patient, have financing in order and have no contingencies.
You're very patient. Even after you come to agreement with the seller to buy a short-sale property, the seller's lender (or lenders, if there is more than one mortgage) has to approve the sale before you can close. When there is only one mortgage, lender approval typically takes about two months. If there is more than one mortgage with different lenders, it can take months for the lenders to approve the sale.
Your financing is in order. Lenders like cash offers. But even if you can't pay all cash for a short-sale property, it's important to show you are well qualified and your financing is set. If you're preapproved, have a large down payment, and can close at any time, your offer will be viewed more favorably than that of a buyer whose financing is less secure.You don't have any contingencies. If you have a home to sell before you can close on the purchase of the short-sale property—or you need to be in your new home by a certain time ... a short sale may not be for you. Lenders like no-contingency offers and flexible closing terms.For the right buyer, investing in short sales can be a lucrative way to find great deals on the market today.
I have represented buyers on numerous short sale purchases over the past year. Unfortunately, there is not a single answer. It really depends not only on the seller's bank, but how many liens they have against the property, among other things. I have had short sales take as little as a few weeks for the bank to respond, and as much as 5 months. Bank of America is notorious for taking a long time. The great thing w/ a short sale is that you can make an offer and still continue to look at other homes while you wait for the bank approval. There's a specific short sale addendum you include with your offer that allows you to talk away for any reason without losing your earnest money. Short sales can be a great way to get a home at a discounted price. They just require a lot of patience and attention to detail to ensure the title is free and clear of any liens prior to you becoming the owner!
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