Also, it is not always an advantage for a listing agent to have a buyer as well in a short sale. In many cases the lender will cut the commission considerably if the Buyer and Seller have the same agent.
Lasty, you as the Buyer cannot contact the Seller's lender.
Buying a short sale is not always easy, hang in there.
Joanne LaFleur Broker/Associate
Jones & Company Realty
Only one offer needs to be signed by the seller and the buyer, as is legal.
Only one offer should go to the short sale lender.
Back up does not get signed (if done the right way).
That's why it is called a back up offer.
I'm sorry that no one explained this to you originally.
However, because the short sales take a long time, a lot of times the first offer buyer walks away.
Then, your offer might become the first offer (and it won't have to be as high, by the way).
That is, unless there are other back up offers, who have the same rights as yours, unless yours is signed by the seller (after the first buyer walks).
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
Jones and Co Realty
Taking a second position in a non preapproved short sale is akin to banging your head against a wall. Take my advice, move on, stop looking at short sales, and look for a motivated Sellers (there's plenty around) and you'll be much happier in the long run.
Another option is foreclosures, which unlike short sales are much easier to purchase. If this interests you I suggest reading more about foreclosures sales. I've attached a link below to a recent blog I posted here on Trulia about them.
The Seller has 100% control over who he/she will attempt a bargain priced short sale with.
Also it depends on the way the 1st contract is written and the wording in the Short Sale addendum.
Bottom line is I would try to be as "nice" as possible to the Seller and his/her listing Realtor or there is also a way for your backup offer to simply expire after 90 days (standard) and they can immediately kick you out as a backup and sell to another buyer.
Don't mean to frighten you but this is the reality. Again, remember you have zero control, the Seller has 100% control over who will get a chance at buying his/her house.
Keep looking and also your higher "backup" price may also be too low to be possible. Banks will allow a lower than market sale but you can't usually get more than about a 10% discount. May not be worth the headache for the discount.
Keep looking, the true bargains are bank owned and you can even get an FHA 203k to turn replace ugly flooring, kitchen, old roof, etc. and still only put down 3.5% of the sale price.
Also if you buy a property in good functional condition you may be able to get up to $7,500 from the State of Florida Bond Program for first time homebuyers--you and your spouse cannot have owned a house in the past 3 years to be considered a first time homebuyer. You must qualify on your family size and income and must work with an APPROVED lender. You can find the lenders here:
All the best,