The answer is: there is no definitive answer. Some short sales can be pushed through in 60 days, but it’s probably more likely to take longer. Lenders may say, “yes, we have improved the short sale process,” but there doesn’t seem much evidence of things changing that much. If you ask multiple agents, you’ll probably hear responses like, “The process is basically the same, but much better than say 2 or 3 years ago…”, “The 2012 election season will produce some urgency to try and solve this problem.” or “NO!”
Really, the best thing to do if you’re interested in a short sale property is have your agent get the low down on the price, how many loans there are and where the property stands in its lender approval process. Then write an offer that makes sense to you. Know that the price it’s accepted at all rests on how much the bank is willing to lose on a loan they are already losing on. Then continue on your merry way looking at other properties until you’ve found something else you like or your price is approved and you can open escrow.
Short sales are all about managing your expectation – it’s not a done deal until it’s a done deal. If you understand this, hopefully that will keep you from getting too antsy! Good luck!