One of my friends had a customer that is demanding for the bank to hurry up and get the short sale done, they are tired of waiting. I bet I am hearing some hearty “Amens” from all my Realtor buddies. And also as life would have it I called my short sale departments to see how my little short sales are coming along so I can report back to my apprehensive buyers. As in most things in life there is a flow to it, a cycle that all things go through to reach their peak or completion. So it is with a “short sale”. Please know that this is straight from a company that I am working with and I am NOT going to name any names. I have had a couple of easy ones but generally it has been taking from 3 to 6 months to get an approval to move to close.
- Seller decides he can no longer make payments so he list property with you and gives you an approval letter to speak to his lender. He gathers all of his financials, his budget, his taxes, his last 4 months of bank statements, and his hardship letter. You send all of this in to the bank and you wait and you wait and you wait.
NOTE: it will many times take days before your authorization letter gets to where it needs to be. (this is the easy part)
- You are enthusiastic and excited because you get a buyer and grateful that buyer and seller have agreed to the short sale price and you have signed all the forms and additional short sale addendums. You and the other agent try your best to brace the buyer and the seller for the long months ahead.
- Offer along with HUD-1 and any other updated documents that the lender needs are sent in and the fun begins. I have a great title company that helps me gather this information. (McNeese)
- (Real life example) Contract goes into the company on April 7, 2009, you call each week and the lending company tells you that they are about 4 weeks behind on uploading documents to the system. You continue to call each week and they can’t find it and suggest you send it in again. You get excited because a BPO (Broker Property Opinion) is ordered somewhere along the way.
- Now to make it real fun I forgot to tell you that there may be 2 mortgage companies to deal with so we do this times 2!!!! The first mortgage company now tells you that they are close to getting their deal approved and they ask for explanations of customers finances and additional documents that you send in with a gleeful heart. They also inform you that while they are maybe only a month away from completion and it is now June 25 they let you know, oh by the way. . . we want you to call the other mortgage company and tell them that although they are owed over $200,000 on the second note that they will be glad to give them $3,000 of the dollars upon close. The first mortgage holder wants the Realtor to get something in writing from the second mortgage holder. . . now it gets real fun.
- (Real life example) Keep in mind that although the buyer knows they need to be patient, it is hard for them and they wonder what in the world is anyone doing. . . is anyone doing ANYTHING? ???? On June 25th second mortgage company informs you that the contract that you sent in on April 7 was opened and reviewed for real on June 15th and by June 24th it was finally in the hands of the FIRST PHASE negotiator. Keep in mind that although first mortgage is almost finished we have to wait on the second. Meantime fees are mounting if the buyer is behind on payments and they usually are.
- The first phase negotiator will keep it approximately 15 days to make sure all documents are there that are needed and of course it has been awhile so they need to be updated so you gather the needed paper work and send it in again.
- IF all is well the file now goes to the SECOND PHASE negotiator who has 30 days to review. If he finds all things well, the file now travels to the investor.
- IF all is well now the investor has from 2 to 30 days to review the file..
- Shortly before close they let the seller in on what they are willing to do for them in the way of accepting a lesser amount owed and what the seller contribution needs to be and if all is agreed upon then we all move to close. Oh and one more thing the lender expects the Realtors to take a reduced commission and they do and they all live happily ever after.
- If the lender and the seller do not agree and if the buyer gets tired of waiting then it is back to the beginning of the short sale life cycle.
This sale portrayed in my “real life example” is projected to have an answer according to the second mortgage company around September if all goes well. So thus the life cycle if all survive it will be approximately 6 months!!! My purpose in sharing is not to discourage but more to bring attention to the fact that a short sale is anything but short and the more inventory that is sold this way the more difficult it will become. There are no short cuts (no pun intended at all) so just take a deep breath and be very kind to anyone involved in this adventure. I am actually enjoying all that I am learning from this and if patience is not your virtue it will become so. I left out some of the duties that a Realtor will do along the way because my main focus was to let the consumer know why it takes so long so that you can just sit back and enjoy your life while the lenders, Realtors and title companies are working the deal.Print Story