Q. What is the normal time frame for a short sale?
A. In terms of what is normal, each lender has their own policies on when decisions may be rendered. Each lender has their own internal deadlines. Of course, the lenders generally do not abide by their own published time frames and deadlines. Asking if a short sale situation is normal is like asking if a war is normal. One can predict certain things based upon past experience and knowledge of the other parties, but every short sale and every war are different and inherently unpredictable. Lenders frequently do not abide by their own (published or unpublished) deadlines, nor do they hold themselves accountable to their own deadlines.
Q. What are some of the essential elements of a successful short sale?
A. Successful short sales require a cooperative seller, a patient buyer, a reasonable appraisal by the seller’s lender, skilled real estate agents, a good negotiator, and a mortgage lender that is willing to communicate frequently with that negotiator. If one party to the short sale is not participating or cooperating, then the entire transaction is in jeopardy.
Q. What else is important to know about the time-frame to complete a short sale?
A. There are tales of short sales that happen in two months. There are also short sales that take more than two years. Many short sales take four to six months from the date of the listing to the settlement date. A good number of short sales fail.
The parties in a short sale transaction should be flexible and committed. They should focus more on the outcome and less on the process. Their flexibility and commitment may be rewarded in the end.