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Beaverton Oregon Real Estate: Why does selling your home on a short sale take so long?

This is one of the questions I get a lot from both buyers and sellers of properties that are in a short sale situation, but one thing I can tell you is it has nothing to do really with the buyer or the seller.

What happens when a listing is taken by an agent that is going to be in a short sale situation has a lot to do with how long the process will take. If that agent gets all the paperwork up front from the seller, submits it to the bank right away, and gets on the property getting a BPO done, it can save lots of time, but that still doesn’t mean it will be a short process.

It really has everything to do with the bank and their procedures. Once a bank receives a short sale package, (which I can tell you from experience they will claim they don’t get despite sending confirmations of receiving it) it goes tothe loss mitigation department, but all they do is make sure all the paperwork is in from the seller. (They don’t call the seller… that is the agent’s job.) Each person in this department may be working more than 100 files at a time, and unless and agent keeps on them, that file will stay at the bottom of the pile. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Once the file has everything that is needed, then it gets assigned to a negotiator. That process can take a couple weeks. There never is an overnight thing with banks. Then the negotiator will decided if the property and the seller even qualify for a short sale based on the information gathered by the loss mitigation department. If the BPO and the financials all meet the negotiators criteria, then they will order an appraisal of the property, and once again, this can take 10-15 days.

After the appraisal is done,the packet is finally given the yes or no to if they are going to allow a shortsale. Then, they finally advise everybody of what they will accept and what they will pay and it rarely is everything the buyer is asking for. Then you have to submit a counter offer to the buyer and get that back to the bank. Then the negotiator may take another week to look at that and finally give approval to close.

As you can see the process at the banks is flawed, but right now it is the only one we have to work with. Some banks are better than others. But in the end, if you qualify for a short sale, and have the patience to deal with the banks,then selling one can be better for your credit in the long run rather than a foreclosure. If you’re buying a short sale, if you can be patient, the prices are usually discounted enough to make the wait well worth it.

For more information on selling your home on a short sale in Beaverton, Oregon, please give me a call, I would love to help. If you are a buyer, I can help you look at hundreds of shortsale homes that are available. Heck, I’ll even buy you a coffee so you can sit back and relax waiting for your new home at a great price.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 9 commentsRespect Realty LLC • May 28 2009 12:53PM


That sure takes a lot of the mystery out of it. I like the part where you say they will tell you that they never received the package. LOL I just had a friend working on a short sale that is exactly what happened.

Posted by Wendy Montoya, REALTOR® Broker Associate, 254-315-4906 (Towne Adams REALTORS) about 10 years ago

Todd, I'm working on one right now that the seller has moved away, and we are trying to coordinated the documents and the bank keeps asking for more financial info, 1099, W2, pay-stubs, taxes Etc... Well the seller is in the process of packing & unpacking and you guessed it can't find half the stuff. So everything comes to a dead stop until all the requested documents are together. Death by paperwork, is a slow and painful way to go.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 10 years ago


I think all of us learn from our very first encounter.

  • Some will run from the mere mention of the name...
  • The rest of us look at each transaction as a challenge to make it easier for our client...


Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) about 10 years ago

Todd, this is a very good explanation of how the process works. We have been involved with a short-sale with Countrywide for almost 1 year now and the process has been pure torture. After 4 appraisals, BPO's, being assigned to a negotiator...I just got a request for another BPO. Thanks for the post.

Posted by Dan and Amy Schuman, Luxury Home Specialists (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 10 years ago

Todd --- a great post --- great explanation of the process and one that your customer/clients will really appreciate.

Mama Liz's Signature

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) about 10 years ago

Family Feud revisited.

Survey says: "That's the way it's done!"

"That's the most popular answer with 82 of 100 randomly chosen REALTORS and former REALTORS. There is no second place all 18 agents chose different answers!"

Until the NAR stands up on it's hind legs and tells it's members:  

The banks need them more than they need the bank.

It's absurd and unethical to list a property with out the ability to close.

Until the lender is required to participate in the listing where the provable proceeds are insufficient to clear title the problem will continue!

Until Buyer's agent convince their buyers to write good offers and demand performance by the seller and his lender this will go on!

Until those agents relise that a good offer is one that is good for the bank!

Until we get over the idea that we're entitled to the bank's money, this will go on!

Until we recall the professionalism that was displaced by arrogance, this will go on.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) about 10 years ago

Todd, Sounds about right. If handled properly most short sales should close in 90 days or less. The keys to success are:

  1. Submiting a COMPLETE package
  2. Submiting it at the right time
  3. Selling at a justifiable price
  4. And constant follow up

And if anyone is waiting on a contract before getting info from the seller they have already created a MAJOR delay in the process.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) about 10 years ago

I run into so many agent that think they are "Short Sale" experts and then find out this is the first one they might get to closing.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 10 years ago

Constant follow up and then a little more follow up after that. Squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago

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