How long do short sales take? There’s no single answer because every bank acts differently when handling a short sale.*
But in general, short sales are not short and they are frequently not even sales. The ballpark amount of time it takes to get the seller’s lender’s approval on a short sale is about 3 months or so, give or take a month.
I like to help my clients envision this by measuring against holidays. “If you’re making short sale offers now – in August 2010 – you should expect to wait until about Thanksgiving 2010 to get an answer from the seller’s lender. If we get a “yes”, then you’ll be closing and moving in around the Chrismukkah.
That’s sobering. So is this chart.
This is a chart taken directly out of the Arizona Regional MLS. The dates are shown in reverse order which is a bit confusing. But essentially what you see (click to embiggen the chart) is that these home sellers accepted a buyer’s offer on their short sale home on May 21, 2010. Sellers and buyers have been waiting since then for the seller’s lender’s review of the proposed sale.
That’s 3 months of waiting. Not short, in my book.