With all the foreclosures and REO being sold, we have to deal with this issue all the time. How long does it take to get a seller signed HUD-1 from a bank? In my experience it takes anywhere from one to five day with most in the two to three day category.
The trick is to read the instruction letter provided by the attorney representing the bank/seller. This letter let's us know the typical procedure and timeline expectations.
When we receive a title order for REO property, we carefully review the target date for closing, the time requirements of the seller and whether or not we logistically can meet all targets. This is an important step because the buyer is typically under some kind of daily penalty for closing late - usually $100 per day.
If we've received the order without sufficient time to process title and get the HUD to the bank/seller, we contact everyone immediately and have them process an extension.
Once we are sure we can reasonably meet all deadlines, we mark the file with the target dates and our coordinators make certain that the file moves forward within those guidelines.
This usually works but sometimes there are problems. For instance, if the real estate agent or the mortgage lender doesn't understand that we need figures ahead of closing, and they want to make a last minutes adjustment to the HUD, they may not be able to do so without postponing the closing.
So, the bottom line is that whoever the settlement agent is, they should know early in the transaction what the timelines are and then adjust the game plan to match those expectations.