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Elizabeth Weintraub

How Long Should You Wait for Short Sale Approval?

By May 4, 2009

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Waiting for short sale approval can be agonizing, especially for first-time home buyers.

Some banks such as Countrywide, for example, move files through a minimum of two phases. During the first phase, the wait is at least 30 business days. If the Phase 1 negotiator does not look at the file or make notes in the file, you can ask for the file to be escalated on the 31st day. After a negotiator has been assigned, Phase 2 can take about 60 business days to process.

That's assuming that Countrywide hasn't lost the paperwork or decided by mistake to close the file. Fortunately, other banks are much faster and on the ball, or nobody would ever close a short sale . . . read more about Short Sale Approval.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.


May 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm
(1) Bill Rice says:

Word of advice: Make sure you are working with and experienced real estate broker in these transactions. Not only are they more complex, but they are often the targets or instruments of mortgage fraud.

I have talked to a lot of mortgage brokers and law enforcement folks that are seeing unsuspecting victims getting entangled in these scams.

May 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm
(2) Isaac Bensussen says:

Elizabeth, Thank you for writing all these blogs on short sales. They are extremely informative and sooo well written. I have been in Real Estate for more than 30 years and I always learn from your blogs. Thank you again.

September 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm
(3) Mortgage Guy says:

Bank of America recently eased their short sale policy to facilitate more deals…banks are obviously making adjustments to deal with the influx of short sales, so they should begin to pick up in the coming months…

October 21, 2011 at 11:59 am
(4) Sam says:

My short sale was submitted on August 15 and approved on September 15. I think with knowledgable people working in a seller’s corner, it is possible to get it done quickly and painlessly.

October 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm
(5) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Yes, an experienced agent will help move along the short sale process; however, much of that time frame is actually due to the lender response time and is not based much on the agent. Some lenders, Wachovia, for example, can approve a short sale in as little as 48 hours. Others take months, and it doesn’t matter what the agent does, the process absolutely will not move any faster.

January 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm
(6) Barbara says:

I am a Buyer/Realtor for a short sale property in Alabama. Bank of America agreed to short sale on June 10, 2012. As of today, 01/24/2013, still can not get any response from BOA. No one returns calls or emails. Property appraised for sale price in October 2012.

January 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I am guessing that this short sale at Bank of America is being handled outside of Equator, and if that is the case, then it’s probably an FHA short sale. I’ve had FHA short sales take more than a year at Bank of America. There is something about the combination of FHA and B of A that just doesn’t mix. Other banks can close FHA short sales within a reasonable period of time — as I’ve had no problems with those at Chase or Wells Fargo, but the Bank of America FHA short sales seem to be a nightmare. You must be pretty close to approval by now.

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