What can be done to help make the Short Sale process run smoother?
Well... a couple of things:
Agents Seller and Buyer should set expectations of seller and buyer up-front that a short sale refers to the lender approving the seller's contract to sell their property for less than what's owed. It does not refer to any sort of time frame. Some short sales take longer than others.
Sellers should consult with an attorney up front as to the legal ramifications as opposed to waiting until the lender accepts a contract.
There should be an industry standard short sale package requirement. Along with that there should be industry standard forms (ie. Authorization to release Information, Financial Information form, etc)
Lenders should be required to communicate their lowest contract price (with a good through date) to the listing agent instead of having them say , "the offer was too low" after weeks or months of waiting for an answer from the negotiator.
Lenders should be given a maximum of 30 days to approve a short sale contract.
Realtors should be allowed to scan and send PDFs to the lender instead of faxing and waiting, then faxing the same info again and again.
Communication should be required to be done via electronic means. All lenders should allow electronic signatures as opposed to "wet signatures".
Lenders should have trained employees who can answer questions or at least have an experienced supervisor standing in the same room with the operators instead of being passed around like a hot potato in their phone systems.
Okay, so there are more than a couple of things that can be done to make the short sale process smoother.