How Long Does a Short Sale Take? Can I Speed it Up?

Today's question is, how long does a short sale take?

Well, let's start with the short sale timeline. On average a short can take anywhere between five to six months. 

The first phase is getting an offer, and that typically takes two to four weeks. Once we have an offer in hand we submit that to the lender along with the borrower financials and we kick off the negotiation phase of the transaction. That typically takes two to three months on average. Sometimes it can take a little longer depending on the type of loan. 

After we've obtained approval from the lender, what we call lien holder consent, it takes an additional 30 to 60 days to move to closing. And that's where we get that five to six month long timeline.

Let's compare that to the foreclosure timeline.

Under Washington State law there are a number of statutes and regulations that afford a great deal of protection to homeowners who are faced with foreclosure. So that foreclosure timeline is typically longer. You're looking at a 9 to 12 month period after you've missed your first payment. 

There are a number of steps along the way that you can take to extend that timeline.

For example, after you've received the notice of pre-foreclosure options this is an opportunity for you to buy yourself an additional 30 to 60 days by simply requesting a meet and confirm with your lender. Simply by making that request in writing and following up with a phone call, you've just bought yourself a month or two in the house. 

Now, you don't even have to attend the meet and confirm. You buy yourself that time just by making the request. Moreover, once you receive a notice of default from your lender that's an opportunity for you to request a referral to mediation. Now as long as there's an open and pending mediation, the bank cannot issue a notice of trustee sale. So you can have that open mediation pending indefinitely. In theory you could buy yourself six months, eight months, I've seen one last even a year.

So this is a great way to navigate the foreclosure timeline, buy yourself additional time in the home, and ultimately avoid foreclosure.

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