How long does the sell take to respond to a offer on a short sale home?

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May 02 2010 - Longwood
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Answers (31)

I just had 2 Short Sale transactions fall apart. We wrote the offers with a 60 day contingency for the Bank to respond. One one offer Bank of America came back asking the Seller to contribute $10,000 and on the other Regions said that they weren't going to net enough money and would not even offer a counter offer.  
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January 28 2011
It all depends on the bank. I have had them respond in 24 hours and as long as a month. It all depends on the manager for the property and if the home has already had the appraisal done. Some listing agents get all their ducks in a row and have got a three day response time from the bank. Other agents have a harder time with property managers that will not work with them. Just have your agent call them every other day to keep your home on the top of the pile. It takes a lot of patience but the great price you get should be worth it in the end. Good Luck !!
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January 25 2011
It depends on the lender and where they are in the process..Seller should be able to repsond immediately however the lender will take the time....2 weeks to 3 months.....good luck
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January 25 2011
Every short sale is different ,depends on the bank ,who owns the house.
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January 25 2011
This is an old posting...but a good one. It does take longer to purchase a short sale., months in some cases with no being the final answer sometimes.

 Try a bank owned property which , although takes a little bit longer than what we consider normal.....and there is no normal in this business, it won't take as long as a short sale....really, it will be out by a couple of days...in most cases....but again, I just did a bank owned and I think repairs by the bank tooks weeks, which added to our timeline.
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January 22 2011
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January 22 2011
It all depends on whether the listing agent and seller has started working with the bank and providing evidence for their hardship. It is best to work with someone who has experience in short sales or it could be a long frustrating process.
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January 15 2011
I would advise that you search for a buyer's agent that is  experienced and trained in short sales,- SFR.  It can be a very long process and you need an agent that can guide you through the process.
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January 15 2011
As part of your contract for sale or purchase should be a date by which the sellers must respond to your offer.  You set the terms of your offer.  Two days usually is plenty of time.
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January 14 2011
It depend on how you define "seller." If you mean the person residing in the home and trying to get out from under the mortgage, perhaps 2-3 days. However, the bank/investor who must approve the price my take four months or longer, and don't be surprised if the answer is, "We'll approve it -- for $25,000 more."
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November 11 2010

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. 

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November 10 2010
Patience is a virtue in short sale situations. Once the offer is accepted by the seller (which in most cases the sellers response comes fairly quickly), it is passed on to the lein holder for approval. This can take months and months! Unfortunately, depending on the bank you are dealing with, this can really become a waiting game.  
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September 23 2010
Hi steven elam, you technically need to get the short sale offer accepted at least twice - once, by the seller of the home, and then by however many lienholders there are on the property.  If there's only one loan - hooray! only one short sale approval!  If there are two loans on the property, you will need to obtain short sale approval by both.  Needless to say, the process can take several months.  Good luck, Caroline
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September 21 2010
It depends upon the state and the number of short sale files that the bank mitigar is handling. 

In Central Florida short sales comprise about 50% of all sales and the banks are overwhelmed...case workers have about 200 files apiece...so getting a response in a few days is unheard of.

Most take 3-6 months for a response and some banks never respond to offers.

Erika in Orlando
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September 17 2010
The seller will usually respond within a few days. All short sale offers are contingent upon bank approval, and every bank is different. Bank approval can be as short as a couple weeks to many months or longer. It becomes more complicated If there are 2 or 3 banks involved. The skill of the listing agent can be a big factor in the success of the short sale.

Please don't hesitate to email or call with any questions.

Good luck!
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September 17 2010
The Seller's USUALLY respond with in a few days.  Sometimes they do collect offers for a few weeks before they select one.  The bank on the other hand could take months and months.... especially if you're dealing with Chase bank (don't get me started!)  On occasion banks move quickly if you are REALLY lucky!
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September 17 2010
HAFA guidelines are also only applicable to short sales for primary residences with mortgage amounts under 729k. First you must try to modify your mortgage via HAMA. The purpose of these was to expedite the process of a short sale and to provide some help to the defaulting borrower through HAMA and then through a faster short sale with HAFA if they were unable to modify their mortgage. In my experience, most short sales situations end up in foreclosure because the borrowers do not qualify under the HAFA guidelines or because they are still not getting the response via HAMA to begin with to try to modify their mortgages to keep their homes.
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August 15 2010
Sellers are not "obligated" to respond to any offers. In a short sale the seller should be happy for any offer as it is the path to get closing. The seller's lender(s) are the problem and will continue to be the problem. The fact is that most short sales do not close. That is one reason why so many buyers give up trying to buy a short sale. 
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August 15 2010
It depends whether it's a HAFA Short Sale or a traditional Short Sale. HAFA is supposed to have an approx 7-10 day turn around on an approval where traditional can take weeks or even months. Some have taken as long as 2 years to close.

I have already heard that HAFA is not working how it was designed and there's been some pitfalls so it depends.

Foreclosures and HUD Homes seem to be easier to close than Short Sales these days.
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July 11 2010
Short sales can take as little as 45 days to get approved and as long as 12 months.  It depends if there are multiple liens and or judgements.  It also depends on the lender.  Make sure you agent understands short sales as they are a lot of work.
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July 11 2010
Today 7-10 days for the lender to come back with additional docs that need both buyer and seller to sign off on before continuing.
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July 09 2010
Seller typically answer the same day.  But it's the seller's lender that slows down the process.  Some are good, some are slower than molasses.  We still are waiting for anwers on offers that were made in February of last year!!! If you are in a rush, try Bank-owned properties. 
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June 29 2010
The short answer is "It Depends"... Some banks can approve a short sale within 2 weeks of receiving the short sale package, while others take over 6 months to a year. Also, another factor is how cooperative is the Seller in providing all the required documentation and how often does the person handling the short sale follow up on the process.
The good news though is that many banks are getting more proactive and starting the short sale process before they even have a completed package and many nowadays are shooting to close the transaction within 30 days of receiving the completed short sale package.
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May 27 2010
Short sales are unique because the property owner must respond first and then it must go to the Lienholder (bank) for final approval.
The owner must respond according to the contract deadline set by you. The bank is unpredictable. The estimated timeline provided by the bank is usually around 42 business days. However...they must have ALL the complete documentation and information or everything stalls indefinitely.
Before making an offer ask if the bank has approved the short sale. If you get stutters or blank stares...find another agent.
Once you're prepared to make the offer ask your agent if they are prepared with a preliminary HUD. Also ask if the owner has completed their part of the package which includes hardship letter, financial questionnaires, and all other signed/initialed forms. Again, if you get blank stares or vague answers... probably not the ideal situation.
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May 06 2010
If you are talking about the bank - as previously stated, from a day to a year (no kidding). One important factor is to have a complete package sent to the bank. Unfortunately, being on the buyer side, it is not always easy to confirm that the package being sent to the bank is complete.

If a paper is missing, it could mean that your offer goes to the bottom of the pile or worse yet, in limbo.

Hopefully you have a good agent on your side who can verify the pakage contents and help nudge the deal along. If the owner will authorize your agent to talk to the bank, they can contact the bank directly.Good luck.
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May 04 2010
A bank? Who knows. It could be a few days, a week, maybe even longer. A lot longer!
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May 03 2010
Hi Steven,

Short Sales really depend on the bank for approval on a price. They are getting better about responding back but it really does depend on the bank holding the note and not so much the Seller. Banks can take from days to weeks to month. Lately the average closing on short sales are around 45-60 days out.

We've set up a team with our title company to handle these types of special situations and have received more positive responses and quicker results.
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May 03 2010
As stated previously, sellers should respond within 48 hrs the latest but banks?  Forever
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May 02 2010
The seller should be able to respons in a few days. But an answer from the bank can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The listing agent has to submit a short sale package to the bank with lots of dicumentation and the bank will not even review it if there is one item missing from what is required. This can cause even further delay. Banks are swamped with short sales and do not have the ability to sift through the numbers of files submitted daily for short sale requests.
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May 02 2010

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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May 02 2010
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