Short sales are notorious for the durations they take. As the buyer, you may feel that there is nothing you can do to speed up the process, but this isn't entirely correct. Here are a few things you can do to speed up the short sale process:
Hire a Realtor Experienced In Short Sales
A short sale process is so complex and lengthy that an inexperienced person will find it difficult to handle. Even an experienced realtor, as long as they don't have specific short sale experience, may find the process confusing. Therefore, this is one of those cases where you shouldn't attempt to buy a house without an agent, and you should get one experienced in short sales. Such an agent will know the rules of a short sale and preempt the lender's requirements (remember the lender has to review and approve the purchase offer) to save time.
Have the Required Documentation At Hand
One of the common reasons short sales take such a long time is the sheer number of required documents. A typical short sale will involve hundreds of pages of documents, and each of them has to be properly filled. Dealing with such a high number of documents is risky because it is easy to make a mistake on one page or fail to avail a document. Therefore, make it a point to confirm all the required documentation and be ready for them. That way you won't risk stalling the purchase process because of a missing document.
Be Proactive In Your Dealings with the Lender
Don't submit your pack of documents to the lender and wait for a response from them. You can be sitting at home waiting for a response while the lender is also waiting to receive all the documents from you. This may happen, for example, if you fax some documents and the seller doesn't receive all of them (technology is fickle). Be proactive with your communication and dealings so that you are always updated and on top of things. Make calls to confirm receipt of documents, keep your lines of communication open and active (for example, check your emails and phone messages frequently), and call for updates to avoid unnecessary delays.
Keep Updating Your Documents
Since the short sale process will take a long time, some of the documents may get outdated before the process is over. Anticipate what these documents are and be ready with updated copies so that you can avail them to the lender at a moment's notice. For example, request and keep copies of your bank statements so that you can send them to the lender if the previous ones get outdated.
Contact a local real estate agent for more information and assistance.