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Why are banks taking so long to approve short sales & foreclosures? {Real Estate Q&A}

You find the perfect house, you put in an offer and you wait for an answer. And you wait not for a few days, but for a few months. This is typical when it comes to putting an offer on a Minnesota short sale or a Minnesota foreclosure. In comparison, in a traditional sale where the seller is a person and not a bank, you will hear a response from the seller within a day or two. In a traditional Minnesota real estate sale, your Minnesota Realtor can (and should) put a clause in the purchase agreement asking the seller to respond to your offer within a specific time frame, usually 24 hours.

When the bank is the seller in the case of a foreclosure or is the final decision maker in the case of a short sale, it can take weeks or months before they respond to your purchase agreement. The first reason it takes banks so long is a matter of staffing. Many banks are understaffed and do not have the appropriate support to process the massive amounts of purchase agreement requests they receive.

Another reason it can take banks so long to answer your Minnesota purchase agreement is that they will do a Brokers Price Opinion, or BPO, on the house. A BPO is when the bank sends out a third party to give their opinion on what the home is worth. This third party is typically a Realtor and sometimes can be a Real Estate Appraiser. It takes time for the BPO to be ordered, time for the Realtor or Appraiser to look at the home and write their opinion, time for the bank to review the BPO and finally time for the bank to make their final decision on whether your offer is inline with the BPO. This process alone can take up to 3-4 weeks to complete.

Lastly, if the selling Realtor is not an experienced Minnesota short sale or foreclosure agent and isn’t good at negotiating a short sale or foreclosure it can be difficult to get a timely response from the bank. Another issue that arises with an inexperienced Minnesota short sale or foreclosure Realtor is that they may not be good at putting together a complete short sale or foreclosure package to present to the bank. The package will include your offer and complete information on the seller’s financials. If any documents are missing the bank will request them before they will even look at your offer.

If you are interested in purchasing a Minnesota short or Minnesota foreclosure, we can help you put your best foot forward and work with the seller’s agent to make sure the process goes as smooth as it can. If you are considering selling your home on a Minnesota short sale, we have successfully closed over 150+ short sales and have the much needed experience to get the job done right for you. Please contact us today to learn how we can help you!


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