The short answer is “banks reply whenever they feel like it.” The longer answer is: usually, in Metro Phoenix, in Fall/Winter 2010, banks take about 2-3 business days to reply to an offer. Once you’re under contract and in escrow the bank’s reply time often slows down considerably. Try 2-3 weeks.
This is an email trail between myself and the Realtor representing a bank on an actual transaction currently in progress.
Me, on Nov 29 at 5:55pm:
The buyer's underwriter is ready to issue final approval but needs seller's signature on Amendment changing price. Still don't have that and it could hold us up. Otherwise, we're aiming to close on Mon, Dec 6 as planned.
Bank’s Realtor, on Nov 30 at 1:03am:
This addendum was submitted to seller on 11/17/10 when I received it. All we can do is wait for it to go through Fannie. It is reviewed by 4 people each of whom can take up to 3 days, not including weekends and holidays.
I will send the seller signed copy just as soon as I have it.
(note that Realtor was working at 1 o’clock in the morning! Being a Realtor is not all sweetness and light and easy money)
Me, on Nov 30 at 6:24am:
Ok, understood. Just as long as seller knows that Buyer's lender is at a stand-still and Seller is holding up closing. I'm sure you know, but wanted to put it in black and white for seller's 4 people who have to review. thanks.
again, note the timestamp. Don’t go into real estate unless you consider yourself a workaholic.