Every short sale seems to be a journey of its own. Those Realtors who are doing short sales, that being most everyone who wants to stay busy in this market, know that lender systems and negotiator interactions vary greatly from one transaction to another. We just finished one with Bank of America that took 9 months and a few pints of blood from all involved.

The good news is that there were a few things we learned that will help in the next one. At the risk of boring short sale veterans who have previously been hardened in the lenders fire, I pass along a point or two here.

Once you know you might be approaching a possible sale (auction) date, call your title company one a week to check. They usually get notice of a trustee sale about a week after it is set. In California they will give you the trustee sale number and a phone number to call for verification. This still will most often give you at least 3 weeks to obtain a postponement. If you have a short sale well along with a committed buyer, negotiators will typically grant it to you.

Because most listing agents don’t do this, I would highly recommend you do it when you represent the buyer as well. Whether you are the listing agent or the buyer’s agent, there is nothing worse than being in escrow with a short sale approval, and finding out that the home just sold at auction. Don’t believe that the short sale negotiator will always be on top of things to obtain the extension. They are often handling several hundred files and it can easily happen.

We also found out that, at Bank of America, a supervisor/manager in the lenders office working with delinquent borrowers (not the short sale dept), has direct access to the auction attorneys computer data base, and can get the extension for you. It can be effective to go here when you are up against the time clock and can’t get in touch with your negotiator. At Bank of America that seems to be most of the time.