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Even if a sale was previously approved at a certain price, the banks (or PMI company) can change their mind.
Also an inexperienced listing agent and/or title company may not correctly compute the property taxes for prorations, or HOA lien or other liens so the net amount may be less for every month the short sale drags on.
You do have to be careful, though, especially if you are paying ALL CASH because short sale "flippers" (fraud) will target buyers with all cash.
Do you know who the actual investors are that own the first mortgage (not the "servicer" that merely collects the payments for the true owner) and 2nd mortgage? Also do you know if the current owner purchased with less than 20% down. If so there is a PMI company, too, that may have to approve the sale. If the first is with Fannie Mae then they may have the ability to approve the short sale without the PMI company hold up the sale. This is a recent change and I actually had a Short Sale listing that the PMI company was requiring my seller to sign a $60k promissory note. Now that Fannie Mae doesn't have to get Radian (PMI) approval, the sale is now approved without the PN.
You may also suggest to your Realtor that you will split the cost 3 ways with the listing agent and your agent--if it's not too much money.
The bank will next ask the seller to sign a note to pay (the amount in question) back over several years, if the seller declines:
A. you can come up with the difference or
B. Time wasted, contract gets broken and home goes back on market....NOW with an actualized price of how much the bank really wants for the house.
Good luck.....maybe is a good time to start looking at foreclosures or traditional sales.
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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Kissimmee/Davenport