Bank of America has been one of the most difficult banks to work with on short sales. Their representatives say it's because they have so many requests and that's probably true. However, I must say that my recent experience with Bank of America short sales has been great! I submitted offers on 2 properties about 6 weeks ago and received approval last week.
They are using a new process through equator.com where agent upload all required documents (financial statement, bank statements, tax returns, offer... and more). As each step is completed, the agent is notified and sent an e-mail as the next task is requested. It's not easy to get it right the first time (I finally called for support) but once the information is in, it really is a quick process.
Bank of America is the only bank using Equator right now but I'm sure others will sign up in the future. It certainly has made these two sales a lot easier for me.
The best part of the short sale approval for me is the appreciation I get from the distressed homeowner. Avoiding foreclosure is a big relief for someone facing a hardship and no longer able to pay the mortgage.
Short sales are great for buyers looking for a deal. You don't have the same competition you see when bidding on a foreclosure . Many times the home is in better condition because you are dealing with an owenr who does care about doing the right thing and has tried to maintain the home through the short sale process.
It's better for the banks to sell as a short sale -- they actually make more money this way. It's a win-win-win...