Philadelphia Short Sales: How Long Will A Short Sale Take?

Real Estate Agent with Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access

Philadelphia Short Sales: How Long Will A Short Sale Take?

Philadelphia Short Sales:  That is the question of the year ! It is a great question ! It is one that every Buyer, Seller, and Realtor ask when dealing with Philadelphia Short Sales.   The simple answer is, " Your guess is as good as mine !"  The more appropriate answer is, " It depends on the bank."  Not that either response is a good answer ! 

Chris and I are self proclaimed Short Sale Specialists in Philadelphia. We have had a lot of Short Sale How much time will a Short Sale take ?Success in Philadelphia.  It is not that Philly has a sinking Real Estate Market.  In fact just the opposite is true.  We are simply Ready, Willing, and Able to do the work that is needed for a Philadelphia Short Sale(Low commissions and lots of work are not popular in our industry.)

Yesterday I was on the phone with Bank of America to discuss one of our pending short sales.  They have a 3 Phase process that I like for educational purposes that we will elaborate on to help answer this elusive question.  I am certainly not thrilled with the length of time it takes for the process.  Their 3 Phase process can explain in a general way, what goes on behind closed doors at most banks and explains why it can take 1 month or 6 months for a short sale to occur !

Phase 0 - The 100% complete Short Sale Package is submitted, digitally recorded and awaits assignment.  This takes 24hrs to 12 days as long as it was received by the right department and every document was submitted and received.  (Note - it is imperative not to submit an incomplete short sale package - a definite way to lose time ! )

Phase 1 - A negotiator is officially assigned to review the package, make sure all documents are there, order the BPO (BPO is like an appraisal). This Phase can take from 25-45 days depending on the bank, their staff, and their work load... and dare I say the quality/integrity of the bank's management.  See featured post regarding my Short Sale NIGHTMARE with TD Bank ! .

Phase 2-  Here a new representative might be assigned. This phase is where changes on the preliminary HUD-1 are made. (HUD-1 is a form that lists all of the money and charges to the seller.) The BPO is reviewed, and they determine if a counter needs to made, then the package is sent to the investor (the ones who own the money) for their review. 25-45 days !

Phase 3 - Once the investor is satisfied, it is possible that yet another person will get assigned to the file. But good news is that the closing negotiations commence. This is when the bank tells you their verdict... Yes, No, Counter Offer, or Yes BUT you need to sign a Note for the deficit.  Phase 3 is when the final settlement procedures are communicated to the Realtor.  At this stage a closing can be scheduled within a few days from acceptance.

We have had Philadelphia Short Sales accepted in 30 days.  We have had Philadelphia Short Sales accepted in 6 months.   But the typical Short Sale is approximately 90 days for us.

If you are involved with a Short Sale, you have to be patient and flexible.  As a Realtor on the Sell Side... there is plenty of paper work and follow up with the bank throughout the process.  Very little information is communicated during the entire process but much work is being done behind the scene by the Bank and the Listing Agent.

I hope this info on Philadelphia Short Sales helps buyers and sellers answer some of their questions about the process.  If you find the information informative, please subscribe to our blog !  Is only a click away !  If you are in our neck of the woods, please contact us via phone or email or ask about our new office location in Northern Liberties !

The Somers - Chris and Stephanie Somers


If interested in buying or selling properties in Philadelphia, contact Chris and Stephanie Somers at or 215-400-2612 . You can connect with us on Facebook and Twitter .  For investment properties, check out our new investor site at Philly Investor Hub and ask us about Philadelphia Foreclosures and Short Sales .

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Areas of specialty include Northern Liberties, Old City, Center City, Fishtown, Graduate Hospital, Art Museum, Queen Village, Pennsport, Old Kensington, Port Richmond, Bridesburg, Society Hill, Loft District, Spring Garden and more !


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Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

All I can say is - I wouldn't hire anyone else. You describe SO MUCH here that I'd be petrified to use another agent, even a well known agent, to sell my home as a short sale.

Jul 18, 2009 03:23 AM #1
Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate
Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA

Steve - LOL, thanks !  We appreciate your loyalty to work with us : ) .  In fact, we are working on some short sales this very second as I write this comment !  ~ Chris

Jul 18, 2009 06:03 AM #2
Richard Stabile
Re/Max Real Estate Limited - Oradell, NJ
Bergen County New Homes Builder Realtor

Cristopher and Stephanie:

It sounds like a drawn out B movie.

I like that you got it all down.


Jul 18, 2009 03:43 PM #3
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Chris - Looks like you have got the short sale system down to a tee in Philly.

Jul 18, 2009 11:40 PM #4
Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate
Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA

Richard and Bill - We do the best we can !!  : ) . 

Jul 19, 2009 12:51 AM #5
Renée Donohue
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker -

Great job outlining this!  The process can be very frustrating for everyone involved so it is best to set expectations up front.

Jul 20, 2009 01:02 AM #6
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Great post. You seem to be the experts in short sales in the Philadelphia area. Good luck.

Jul 25, 2009 11:46 PM #7
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

I just found a past client on Facebook who backed out of a short sale.  I scrolled through the comments.  From post of "we made an offer on a beautiful house" to "why is this taking so long" was 8 days.


I thought you might get a kick out of the impatience.

Jul 26, 2009 12:06 AM #8
Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate
Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA

Renee - Absolutely !  Setting expectations up front is critical so everyone is on the same page.

Gita - Yes, we have been doing quite a few of them recently.  They are challenging but worth it for all the parties.

Chris - LOL, thanks !  I did get a kick and a smile out of that one.  Should be asking that after 80 days and not 8 : )



Jul 26, 2009 02:57 AM #9
Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Gardnerville, NV

That is a very realistic time line.  It is amazing how long it takes, and how short the customer expects it to take.  Very good post.

Jul 27, 2009 01:41 AM #10
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

Well sometimes i dont know what to think of short sales. They are getting better and then they are not!

Aug 16, 2011 03:32 AM #11
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May 23, 2012 03:42 AM #12
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