On short sales, how long are you waiting for approval, after the contract has been signed?

  • September 29 2011 - Gilbert
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Answers (8)

there are to many factors to consider. Each case is different. some factors are :

who the lien holder is
negotiator experience
realtor experience
bpo 
i have been waiting about 2months in some and the latest has been 2.5 weeks!
  • October 11 2011
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Mark, Shorts are tricky.  Typically, I prepare my buyers to expect to wait 120-150 days for a response from the Seller's bank.  We hope for less, but short sales are so unpredictable.
One of the best indicators to have a fast and smooth short sale transaction is the experience of the listing agent.  I strongly suggest ONLY proceeding on properties with an agent who has a proven track record with shorts.  I find with true, EXPERIENCED short sale agents, they tend to get responses much quicker than 90 days. 
Keep in mind, banks such as Chase are initiating the shorts.  In these cases I have been told turn around is in 30-45 days.

  • October 05 2011
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I expect 3-4 months, but my latest short sale was closer to 2. It really depends on the bank approving the short sale. I tell my buyers to expect the long wait, so when it happens sooner, they are happy. But I have told a buyer 3-4 months before and it turned out to be closer to 6! No way of knowing, patience is a virtue!
  • October 05 2011
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Profile picture for inactiveaccount
Hi Mark,

I do hear stories of buyers waiting 8 or 9 months, however an experienced and well-trained brokerage with a dedicated short sale department should be able to get it done much more quickly.

Much of it also depends on the efficiency and speed of the seller's lender, but that can be vastly improved with the right systems in place on the listing agent side.

My brokerage averages 31 days to obtain short sale approval (per lender).

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Emma
  • October 05 2011
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It's really anyones quess right now. Even though there are regualtions in place to keep banks moving through the process, it really is fractured at best. If we had the crystal ball, we would all know for sure. Plan on it taking time. I've known many sellers who thought it was going to go through only to find out the bank wouldn't approve it. In all those cases they home went to foreclosure. Sometimes the banks make more money letting that happen than working through the short sales. I believe it's due to a tax advantage they get in a foreclosure that they don't get in a short sale. Do some more research to find more opinions and maybe some answers. Thank you for your question.
  • September 29 2011
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Yes, as Jennifer stated, short sales are unpredictable.  My last short sale was approved after 5 months.  And it really helped that the buyer was not in a hurry and was able to close successfully.

My shortest short sale was approved in 3 months, so go figure? 

@ Jennifer - I know it doesn't make send when the lender rejects an acceptable offer and then later sells the property for thousands of dollars less!
  • September 29 2011
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Profile picture for PrescottAz
2 days- 2 years. We have allot of experience in short sales and depending on the lender, the loan, the agents involved.. not sure if sun flares have anything to do with it but there are factors that can't be predicted in most of our sells.
Wells Fargo, Chase are the quickest return BOA is very organized.
Good luck, [hotlink deleted by Zillow  moderator  Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for guidelines]
  • September 29 2011
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Not sure why a Premier Agent is asking this question.

Short sales are unpredictable. Each one is handled individually. Each seller and their scenario is different. Each bank and their employees on the case are different. Each realtor and so are different. There is absolutely no way of predicting a short sale.

Experienced agents have come to know there are signs of having a chance at getting a short sale approved. Those agents only take on short sales with high chance of success.

When you enter into a short sale contract, you must understand that anything can happen. Yes, the seller's bank can even deny to do the short sale or raise the price they're willing to accept.

Short sales are not for people with short patience or time frames that need to be met. Short sales are for buyers that cannot seem to find a better home and are not only willing to wait but willing to do what it takes to get the home.

An average short sale with an experienced agent and a seller willing to do what it takes, could take as long as 90 to 120 days to be approved or denied. I've seen them take less than 60 days and up to 7 months. The point is, they are unpredictable.

My worst experience with one was that my buyer waited 7 months. The approval came in but they wanted more money from the seller. My buyer offered to pay the figure but the bank wouldn't accept it from anyone but the seller. The short sale was declined and the bank sold the house at trustee sale for $15,000 less than our contract. Explain to me how that makes any sense.
  • September 29 2011
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