The Treasury Department released a 43-page document in November 2009 that outlines a proposal for streamlining short-sales across the banking industry. It’s supposed to go into effect April 5, 2010. This document is being talked about as if it were the answer to all of America’s short-sale problems. The National Association of REALTORS(R) has been celebrating since the announcement and REALTORS(R) all over are being trained that this document will solve all of our problems and that the banks will be so much more pleasant to deal with.
Well, that sounds all nice and dandy…but is it more hype than help?
Rather than me breaking down and analyzing the document and its true effect on short-sales and the real estate market, I’m going to point you over to a series of excellent blog posts on this topic that have already been written by a fellow REALTOR(R) and friend of mine.
As Sarah Stelmok puts it so eloquently,
REALTORS(R) all over are being trained that this document will be the savior of the real estate market and that the banks are going to start playing nice, and rainbows and kittens will fall from the sky, and we will all reap riches from the bounty of this document. I hate to be a Debbie-Downer, but when’s the last time our government proposed guidelines that were actually effective when it came to the banking industry. Ahhhh, that’s right, after the S&L scandals. Didn’t that take years to recover from? Well, it will take years to recover from predatory lending and a pretty little 43-page document can not fix 7 years of bad lending decisions.
So, let’s dissect the document so that a layman can understand what it says…
Sarah’s three-part series on this topic is excellent and funny and you should definitely take the time to check it out whether you’re a home owner considering a short-sale or a REALTOR(R) (if you’re a home owner considering a short-sale, click here to contact me so we can discuss your specific situation and options).
- Part One - Proposed Short-Sale Guidelines (HAFA)
- Part Two - Proposed Short-Sale Guidelines (HAFA)
- Part Three - Proposed Short-Sale Guidelines (HAFA)
If you would like more information about the proposed guidelines or are thinking about doing a short-sale yourself and are located in Northern Virginia, click here to email me or call me on my cell - 703.582.6900. If you’re located in the Fredericksburg, VA area, click here to contact Sarah Stelmok, REALTOR(R), Coldwell Banker Elite.
P.S. If you can name the most popular person in the group pictured in the photo at the top of this post and the year the song came out, you get a prize!
A very common question people ask me is, “How long does a short-sale take?” There is no exact answer to that question because short-sales are not a perfect science. Short-sales are like a trip to Vegas - you may come back with more money than you left with or you may come back broke, but you won’t know till the end of the trip. You won’t know when you will get the response from the bank(s) until the day you actually get one.
The average - and I stress average time to hear back from a bank(s) on a short-sale - is 3 months. I don’t suggest using any amount of time in planning when you’ll hear back on from the bank(s), but if you really must, 3 months would be your best bet.
The fastest response on a short-sale I’ve ever seen is 4 weeks. Unless “you’re in” a loan officer or loss mitigation officer at the bank you’re dealing with that can “fast track’ the short-sale (contact me offline for more info on this), don’t bank on this (pun intended).
There are short-sales still sitting waiting on a response from the bank(s) that went under contract over a year ago. Yup - a year ago. You REALLY have to love the house you’re buying and have all the time in the world to wait around this long.
Don’t forget settlement preparation time
Don’t forget about the time needed from short-sale approval to settlement date. Once the short-sale has been approved (not before) the buyer’s loan officer can tart finalizing the loan approval and everything that goes along with it (appraisal, title work, underwriting, etc). This takes at least 2 weeks, but more like 30 days.
To recap…the average time from ratifying a contract to settlement date is 4 months (3 months plus 30 days). The shortest is 2 months (4 weeks plus 30 days). The longest is over a year.
If you have would like more information or have specific questions regarding short-sales as a buyer or seller, click here to email me or call me at 703.582.6900.