I am always leery of any so-called “pre approved” short sales. The word on the street is there are only three kinds of short sales you can trust as pre-approved: HAFA, Bank of America Cooperative Short Sale and FHA HUD Pre-foreclosure Sale. In these cases, the list prices can be pre-approved, as can the sellers’ financials and qualifications. But are the buyers? Is the contract? Setting that argument aside, I had a recent eye-opening experience with a Bank of America Co-op Short Sale.
I listed a Destin Florida condo, with “pre-approved” Co-Op seller, at a price set by Bank of America. We had a contract higher than full price within one day. Perfect, right? The Bank of America website says Coop Sales are approved within 10 days of contract. Today, it is three months later. The sale is still not approved. What were some of the glitches evident in their process?
- Bank of America outsources Coop Sales (and HAFA) to third party vendors. There is a time lag for the vendor to set up its file.
- Duplication of work. Not only are documents emailed to the vendor, the agent is to upload them into the Bank of America platform, Equator. Vendor representatives email within the platform and outside of it, duplicating requests.
- Layers of approvals are still needed. This particular file needed “five internals tasks, two review tasks, and a manager approval, before it goes to valuation”, per the UTLS representative who is working on this file.
- Title errors. Bank of America stated the file had “PMI” on it, and requested all seller financials, although the seller had been “pre approved”. The seller insisted there was no PMI, nor had never been, and he had paid off junior lien HELOC long ago. After numerous go-rounds with Bank of America, the PMI company, United Guaranty, agreed it was a mistake. I was told a “wrong key” was hit when the original request was made.
My advice? If you are going to list a Bank of America Cooperative Short Sale, expect the standard 90-120 day approval process. Don’t advertise the short sale as “pre approved”. The price? Yes, but not the short sale. And be patient.