I gather you have ACCEPTANCE from the Bank, (the Seller is really just a "rubber-stamp" in this).
Now, you should have a 45-60 day escrow and your odds of closing the deal are good.
I agree with Jon's answer. The truth of the matter is that the Short Sale Lenders are not parties to the contract; however, they do have to agree to accept the deficiency amount resulting from the agreement. Therefore, as soon as an offer has been accepted by the Seller the property is "Pending, subject to lender approvals". An agent may also have the option of placing the listing in a "Pending, show for backup offers" status as well.
In the Santa Barbara MLS we require agents to mark their listings "pending" once an offer is accepted by the seller. Yes, it is still contingent on the lender's acceptance, but a designation indicating that fact can be checked by the listing agent so the property still shows up in active property searches.
I hope this helps.
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