Home Buying in 90501>Question Details

Amyg, Home Buyer in Arizona

Can a seller back out short sale the day before closng? Lnder apprvd seller wanted verbage changed & lender wouldnt chng standard contract, w/o

Asked by Amyg, Arizona Sat Aug 6, 2011

penalt Short sale had been approved by lender. All documents were ready to close and the bank would not change standard verbage in contract so the lenders have decided to let the house foreclose. Can they do that without penalty? Should I be responsible for appraisal and home inspection when they backed out?

Help the community by answering this question:


If the house has NOT gone to a foreclosure sale yet, there is STILL TIME to salvage this deal.

I am not trying to make any money here.

If the listing agent is willing to listen, I can refer them to someone who is well qualified to turn this around. It is NOT in the best interest of the bank to refuse a short sale (99% of the time), the costs they will incur to take it to auction or back as an REO are greater than what they will usually net as a short sale.

Getting the bank to change the language of the short sale approval letter will depend on what type(s) of loans the seller has. Purchase money? Equity Loan?

Feel free to shoot me an email directly, tell me what you know about the sellers loans & I'll see what I can do to assist. Free of charge.

562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
In CA we have short sale addendum's that state any fees paid up front by the buyer will be their own responsibility. Each state has different verbiage. All short sales involve risks. There are some local companies here in CA that state they can "save" your short sale about to go to sale. I think the best way to save the deal is to have an experienced short sale agent working the deal, from the start. Most likely the bank isn't willing to remove the right to pursue judgment (& retains the right to come after forgiven debt). If the agent couldn't't get that negotiated off the approval... the seller may not feel as though there is any benefit to short sale. A foreclosure in most cases (CA here) wipes out the right to pursue the debt. Hope things work out!

Stephanie Hart
Forecast Realty
CA DRE 01338444
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
Not worth fighting. Go on to the next property. You are out money AND the house you wanted. That's the reality of short sales. Banks do what they want and it makes no sense at all and for sure they should be punished but do you have the time and money to fight them? Before you figure out how to go about it, the house will be foreclosed on and to get that turned around is just not 'win-able' - I have experienced tons of situations like this.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
It looks like you are buying in California. If that is the case, there are now laws in this state that will protect the seller of a short sale property from any deficiency claims by the short sale lender. The seller needs to know about these laws, as does their agent. The banks will change language in California approval letters, because they do not want to run afoul of the law. They just need to be reminded, strongly.

Have the seller's agent contact me and I can walk them through the process of getting the approval letter changed. If the sellers have a 2nd on the house, they are now better off doing a short sale in California than letting the 1st foreclose on the house. They need to be told that also.

Let me know if I can help in any way. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
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RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Sure the lender can do that. Short sales are subject to lender approval. The lender is in the driver's seat. You don't say what the verbiage change was, though my first thought was along the lines of what Ron mentions--whether there's recourse.

Realistically, you or the seller aren't going to get the lender to change its standard contract. If the deal can be salvaged (as Emily suggests), I suspect it's going to be by persuading the seller to take the deal dictated by the lender.

And, yes, you should be responsible for the appraisal and home inspection. You ordered those two items (you had to order the appraisal and the home inspection was a wise move). Those services were performed. Those vendors should get paid. If you don't pay for those (or you want your money from some other source), then who? The lender is just dictating the terms. So logically it would be the seller. You can try to get them to pay. Likely they have some spare cash from not having paid their mortgage in months . . . maybe years. Your odds are slim, but you can try. Your Realtor can provide some advice along those lines.

Like Ron said, the sellers committed financial suicide. But let's face it: Some people who got themselves into these positions don't have the best financial judgments to begin with. (Others do, but just got clobbered by external forces.) So investors know that some folks trying to do a short sale already aren't the wisest ones when it comes to finances. I think you've run across one of those.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Hi Amyg,

Yes, the lender can back out if the seller won't sign their standard contract. I had this almost happen once. However, the lender in my situation removed the verbiage the seller wouldn't agree to at the last minute and the deal was saved and closed. However, depending on the short sale negotiator, this is not always the case. As for you paying for the appraisal and the home inspection...you are stuck with those costs as they are buyer costs. You have to remember with short sales there is no guarantee they are going to close so you have to be prepared to spend money that may end up being a loss to you. As far as that goes, in today's market as a buyer (and seller), you don't know a deal is going to close until it actually does and is recorded. There are standard sales these days that fall apart for all kinds of reasons at the last minute and buyers are still responsilbe for costs they've incurred - regardless of whose 'fault' it is the deal falls apart.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
It sounds like the Sellers wanted assurances of no recourse; But I thought that Arizona was a non-recourse State.
It also sounds like you both didn't have representation; I doubt that this would have happened if you did.

The Sellers have committed financial suicide: they may not see it now....
You should have no problem getting your Deposit back, but you also won't get the house.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 6, 2011
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