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How can you speed up a short sale?

A short sale can be beneficial for you, but you need to understand how to move through it quickly to survive the sale and get back into a position of financial security. Short sales are sales made to a buyer at a reduced rate; essentially, you get the bank or lender to agree on a lower sale price, so you can pay back at least some of the debt you owe.

A short sale takes a long time; even quick short sales can take four months or longer to complete. To avoid making the process take longer, make sure your paperwork is filled out completely. Mail it into the lender or bank instead of faxing it, too, because you want to have certifications that the paperwork was delivered in whole.

Banks have to look through hundreds of files for one short sale, so making sure all the paperwork is in one place can help move your short sale to the front of the list. Those who don't complete the paperwork correctly or completely will be put to the side until straightforward short-sale files are complete, making the short sale take longer.

An average short-sale file is between 200 and 250 pages long. If you're self-employed, that file could be over 400 pages long. You'll need to be able to show that you've suffered a hardship to your lender in these files, too, so make sure you can show that illness, the loss of your job or other serious problem has resulted in you being unable to make up the cost of your home. Remember, the lender is more likely to approve your short sale if you are in legitimate need of one.

Source: The Seattle Times, "Q&A: How to survive a short sale," Jim Buchta, accessed July 22, 2015

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