How Long do Short Sales Take?


With a name like “short sale”, you’d think the process would be quick. The “short” in “short sale”; however, actually refers to the amount of money the bank is willing to accept for it. In short sales, homeowners can no longer make payments and the bank agrees to a price that “falls short” of what the mortgage is. While these types of transactions can take longer than traditional sales, recent revisions to the process have made purchasing a short sale much faster than it once was.

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive amount of time we can give for how long a particular short sale will take. Some close in as little as 30 days. Other times it can be more like 60 or 90 days.  Much of this depends on the bank – some can take months to review and approve short sale offers – others review offers in a matter of weeks or even days. The timeline below will give you a great idea of how the short sale process works and – generally speaking – how long you should be prepared to wait.

  • Submission of offer and complete short sale package from the seller.
  • Bank acknowledges receipt — 10 to 30 days.
  • Bank orders a BPO or appraisal — 2 weeks to 2 months.
  • File is reviewed — 10 business days.
  • Negotiator is assigned — 10 business days.
  • Level II negotiator may be assigned — 10 business days.
  • File is approved or rejected — 30 to 120 days.

Hiring a real estate agent well-versed in the short sale process is crucial. An experienced agent will be able to give you an accurate idea of the time frame and buying process for these types of transactions. Are you ready to start checking out short sale properties in the Denver-metro area? Give us a shout – the pros at Metrowest would love to show you around!

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