In the short sale process, the bank holding the seller's mortgage requires proof that the seller cannot pay the mortgage and that the price being offered is reasonable for the property. The exact forms supporting these facts vary among banks.
Sellers must provide a hardship letter, including supporting financial documents. They must also provide authorization for their agent to speak to the bank on their behalf. The listing agent provides the seller's and buyer's financial information, a list of comparable sales and the purchase offer to the bank. A bank representative will review and verify the information, sometimes using outside agencies. The bank approval process may take from two to 17 weeks.