The timeline for the short sale process can be extremely long and will test your patience. Once a file is submitted to the lender, it is processed according to the bank timeline. While you may be limited in your ability to try and speed up the process, you do have the ability to avoid items or circumstances that cause delays in processing time. For example, it is critical that a complete file be submitted: all bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, financial statements, hardship letters, purchase contract, buyer pre-approval letter, estimated HUD-1 statement. The primary objective is to submit a file with ALL of the lender requirements. Many lenders have a job called the “opener”, and their responsibility is to inspect all incoming short sale applications for completeness. By submitting a complete file, the “opener” is able to mark the file as complete, and forward it to a negotiator who will process the file. A complete file is a demonstration of you keeping your word. Specifically your commitment to supply the lender with all of their requested documents.

A file that is incomplete will be placed in the pending file, and you may not even receive a call back to inform you which files are missing. You file will likely be placed into a pending queue, and will not be forwarded to a negotiator until all of the documents are received. The worst-case scenario is that a file could be immediately closed because of missing documentation. A recommendation is to always call in after a file is submitted, to verify that the application was received, to get specific feedback if any documents were not received, and to ask if there is anything else that you can provide to help the negotiator process the file. If the lender gives you a list of specific documents, verify the list of documents by repeating it back to them, and give them your commitment of when you will be able to deliver the documents. It is critical that you deliver these documents in the time frame promised. A lender only has a certain amount of time they can keep a file open, so it is crucial that you do your very best to provide them with all the documents they need to start the processing of the file.

As a file is submitted, be proactive in anticipating what other files may be needed. For example, if you have submitted a file to a lender who is taking 3-4 months to process a file, keep collecting the most recent bank statements and pay stubs from the seller, and have them on hand to give to the lender in the case where they need the “most recent” financials before they are able to get management approval.

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To learn more about how to qualify the best candidate for your short sale transaction visit The number one factor in becoming successful in Short Sale Success,short sale secrets and Short Sales is to learn how to pre-qualify your deal which includes finding the right buyera.