" Does a real estate agent have the right to refuse to submit an offer to the seller/bank? Should not the acceptance of an offer be to the sole discretion of the seller/bank?"
Clearly you understand it is the bank who will make the selling decision. You also understand "you do not make your offer to the bank but to the homeowner who will walk away from the deal with nothing. The owner is the keeper of the gate to the bank and has final veto when the bank finally responds with the conditions of the short sale. Be aware, all short sales are different and as we attempt to suggest guidelines, be very aware, THERE ARE NO RULES! ANYTHING CAN AND DOES HAPPEN!
The owners willingness to accept your offer will have less to do with your purchase offer and a great deal to do with what is the anticipated actions of the bank or investors involved. Your 30 day comp deal will be irrelevant in a transaction that could take a year to close. Your expressed ability and willingness to adapt to bank/investor counters is most important. If you presented yourself as inflexible, (insisting on comp data at this stage) you are not a good candidate for a short sale.
In response to your question, yes, the agent will present to OWNER and if declined will, not present to the real seller, the BANK. Your usage of 'Seller/Bank' as synonymous makes the question invalid..
Jim Soda .. TheSodaGroup.com
Keller Williams Realty
Lakewood Ranch - Sarasota
1. All written offers must be presented to the SELLER, unless the listing contract states otherwise, and often a short sale listing WILL have special provisions, such as a minimum offer amount, based on current market and/or what the bank has set.
2. NO offers go to the bank for approval unless the seller has signed off on it--the seller is the one whose name is on the title, therefore still has control until the bank files final foreclosure.
A couple of other comments regarding "extremely fair" and "few homes on the street sold": sales comparables are not established by proximity alone--there are many other factors which can make far more difference, such as:
~ Square footage
~ Features (such as pool, fireplace, garage, landscaping, and interior updates)
This does not guarantee that the Realtor who is representing this seller is either reputable or knowledgable--it could be that they simply have little or no experience with short sales--this is something the buyer's Realtor should establish on behalf of their client (YOU, the buyer!), prior to even showing the property.
If shopping short sales, it is best to consult with a "Real" professional, with experience in short sales--such as myself!
That is the challenge of short sales.
With short sales it can be a good idea for the buyerâ€™s agent to call the listing agent and get a good feel for what the bank MAY accept. Both agents want to make a sale, so working together is a good idea.
Now, if you write a non-refundable check for $1000 right to that agent, he will take the time to fill in the offer, and submit it, even though he knows it will most likely not be accepted.
Some Realtors have almost "Universal Agency" with the short sale bank. ie they know what the bank will accept and will say up front, NO the bank will not accept anything less than $ xyz. So donâ€™t even bother sending an offer for less.
Good lock on your home search, let me know if you need the name of an excellent realtor.
Short sales can be tricky - best of luck to you and of course, if I can help let me know.
If you think the list price is too high, wait until the bank comes back and says they want more than it is listed for. This often happens because the bank is not involved in setting the listing price.