Investors: Don't Let the Bank Push You Around On Your Short Sale Purchase

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I am about to close on a short sale purchase of a single family house in Alexandria, VA. In order to secure the deal, I had to negotiate with the seller and wait 6 months for the bank to approve the short sale. During the six month waiting period, the bank required certain documents from both seller and buyer. The process dragged on and on and eventually the bank started asking for documentation I had already provided to them a second and third time.

Finally after six months of waiting, the bank approved the short sale purchase. My offer is a cash offer. I'm ready to close but the day after I was notified that the short sale had been approved, the listing agent and the bank were frantic that I had not yet returned my signed copy of the short sale approval letter along with an updated proof of funds document. They notified me on a late Thursday and by early Friday morning they were frantic. I happened to be out of state and just was not able to jump on it late Thursday afternoon. The listing agent burned up the phone line of my agent demanding the documentation and signed letter.

Of course I provided what was needed within 24 hours.

After six months of waiting for the bank to act, they couldn't seem to wait five days for my response (I originally was going to wait out the weekend and respond with my documentation on the following Monday).

The next push from the selling agent and bank was for us to establish a closing date. We had 30 days to close. After a few days they were burning up the phone again asking why a closing date had not yet been scheduled with the title company. The date was in fact in the process of being scheduled but I just didn't jump when the bank told me to jump.

I schedueled the closing date 26 days after the short sale approval (4 days before the deadline). The listing agent and the bank then tried to push for a closing a week earlier. I said no.

Maybe the bank thinks that I sat around with cash in my pocket waiting for their short sale approval and that I would just take the money out of my pocket and buy the house as soon as they said go. I don't know of any investors with cash who do nothing with their money while they wait for six months for the bank to approve a short sale offer.

The bottom line is that I'm upholding my end of the contractual agreement while the bank and listing agent and seller get themselves all flustered simply because I'm not doing what they demand.

Anyway, I got a great deal and I didn't let the bank push me around.


Lisa Dunham
Alexandria, VA
Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate

I'm amazed at how the bank casually wasted 6 months before approving a "cash deal" ... then get their "feathers in a ruffle" when you don't respond within a couple of days.  On a positive note, at least you got your approval in 6 months ... 7 months and counting for me.  

Jul 02, 2011 01:11 AM
John Marion
RE/MAX Town & Country - Canton, GA

Hi Lisa. I hope the bank approves your short sale soon! It is a long wait, but in the end it is worth it if you can keep putting more properties in the pipeline to close in the future.

Jul 03, 2011 09:22 AM