Life of a Short Sale - Part 4

Real Estate Agent with The Bean Group

Thanks for tuning back in to my 5 part series of the Life of a Short Sale!  Parts 4 and 5 really go together – the wait and the closing.  There are two things you should remember about a short sale:

  1. The potential for savings for both a buyer and a seller are incredible; and
  2. The process can take a very long time.

The hard part for both the seller and their Realtor is keeping the buyer who makes an offer on a short sale.  Many times a buyer will get sick of waiting for an answer from the sellers' bank and they will move on to another home.  How long is long?  Well, it truly depends on who the bank is and how complete your offer package is to the bank.  So depending, the wait time on an offer can take as little as a month to as long as six months - sometimes longer.  I know … YIKES!  This does not mean shorts sales are impossible they are just meant for those who have patience.

When you do finally hear from the sellers' bank on an offer, in some cases the bank will take the contract as is and move to closing immediately.  In other cases, you will then begin a negotiation with the bank.  If you are in negotiations, be sure to get an answer to the bank as soon as humanly possibly.  When you have the banks' attention, you want to keep it.

Once negotiations are completed, or the bank agrees to an offer, they will send to the sellers' Realtor what is called a Letter of Intent.  This outlines what the bank expects in order for the closing to happen.  They will even dictate the closing date.  If this date needs to be changed, that can be done but it must be mentioned immediately.  The sellers' bank will typically give a 30-45 day window to close for buyers who need financing.  However, if it is a cash closing, they may want to close as soon as 2 weeks.

Bear in mind that if the seller has two mortgages, you may have to negotiate with two banks.  The second mortgage holders are often much more willing to lower debt amounts significantly because they are in second place; but, they still do need to be negotiated.

The Life of a Short Sale may be a long one but they are truly worth it in the end for both buyers and sellers.  If I can help with any questions you may have on either side of a deal, please feel free to call or email me.

Sue Melhorn is a Realtor licensed to sell real estate in New Hampshire and Maine.  Her primary service areas are Strafford and Rockingham counties in New Hampshire and York county in Maine.  Sue is also Certified Distress Property Expert.  She has both the training and expertise to help you sell or buy a home in today’s unpredictable real estate market.  Most recently, Sue has been focusing on helping homeowners sell who owe more than their homes are worth.  This type of sale is called a Short Sale.  If you have questions about how short sales work or about any aspect of the real estate market today, please visit Sue at or

Sue Melhorn

Posted by

Sue Melhorn                                                                                                    Re/Max Coast to Coast

A website on avoiding foreclosure:

Cell: 603-944-0186                                                                                                                 Fax:  866-431-1298E-Mail:  

Oh by the way...if you know of someone looking to buy or sell a home, give me a call or drop me an email.  I'm never to busy for any of your referrals!!

Comments (0)