Short Sale Timeline

How is a short sale processed? Each bank is different, and moves at a different pace. Some of these steps are completed faster than others. This is a general time line of tasks, and could change as the process moves forward.


Seller/current owner: the person who is on title, legal owner of the property. They sign the MLS contract.

Lien holder: bank who owns the loan that the seller has on the property. Examples include: Chase, Wells Fargo, Nationstar, etc.

Buyer: person purchasing the property

Escrow: neutral party who closes the transaction and facilitates the MLS contract, as well as prepares various documents.

Buyer’s lender: this is the person/company with whom the buyer is obtaining financing. Examples: Cobalt Mortgage, BECU.

Asset manager/negotiator: contact at seller’s lien holder who negotiates the contract/sale on behalf of the bank.

  • After an offer is made and the seller and buyer have agreed to the purchase terms, and all signatures are received, the file is mutually accepted.
  • Property is changed to Pending Backup in NWMLS system.
  • The HUD settlement statement is ordered to determine a net proceeds for the lien holder.
  • Verification that 3rd party authorization has been received by lien holder. This allows the listing agent to speak to the lien holder (seller’s lender) on behalf of the seller.
  • Seller/current owner provides updated financials including bank statements, paystubs, hardship letter.
  • HUD is received and reviewed.
  • Offer paperwork as well as HUD, Financials, buyer info and pre-approval is faxed to short sale department.
  • Listing agent verifies that entire short sale packet is received by the seller’s lien holder.
  • Verification of BPO (Broker Price Opinion) or Appraisal is ordered.
  • Check on status of BPO/Appraisal.  
  • Processor/Negotiator at Bank reviews file for completeness and value. Negotiator/Asset manger accepts, rejects, or counters buyer’s offer.
  • Once agreement is made between Seller, lien holder and buyers, the file is then submitted by the lien holder to any investors necessary.
  • Investor receives file for review and final approval.
  • Short sale acceptance letter is sent to the sellers for approval, approval received.
  • Once sellers approve short sale letter terms from lien holder, the notice is delivered to buyer.
  • Escrow/Brokers receive final file approval, escrow moves forward with file.
  • Once notice to buyer is sent, the inspection, earnest money, inspection time frames start.
  • Inspection is complete by buyer.
  • Appraisal is ordered by buyers lender.
  • Final underwriting is submitted for the buyer.
  • Escrow receives loan documents, schedules signings for buyer and seller.
  • Buyers lender reviews signed loan documents, releases file to fund and record.
  • Once recording numbers are received, buyer will get keys.


This was our first experience buying a home and we knew very little about the whole process. Dorae was so helpful and seemed to know exactly what we were thinking before we said anything...  
~ Theresa & Will, Everett

Dorae kept me informed of each phase of the process of selling my home from beginning to end. When obstacles arose, I was comfortable with her knowledge and negotiation skills to arrive at the results I was hoping for...
~ Karen, Everett

...Dorae followed up on every detail of our home purchase. And added to all that, she was fun to be around. High energy, cheerful, and just nice...
~ Mary & Bob, Issaquah

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