Have your agent check with the sellers agent to see how far along they are with the short sale process. It can be quite a lenghty process, especially if they have just started the process. Patrick's comment below is correct. The seller would have to accept your offer and then present it to the bank, but if the bank doesn't accept it or if you are a back up offer you are back to square one, looking for another property. If you can find a bank owned home or a private owned home, you might have better luck negotiating a price, not to mention close in 2009. Good luck! If you have any more questions feel free to ask. I am also a Realtor in your area.
Pam Bava, e-Pro Realtor
GMAC Real Estate / Kee Group
Actually, in the case of a short sale, the current owners (not the bank) will sign and approve the sales contract. Once a successful buyer has been selected by the sellers, that ONE sales contract is sent to the bank for review and approval. The bank approves the sale price and any other terms, but the sellers are still in control of the sales transaction.
Listing agents seldom, if ever, present more than two short sale offers to the bank at any time to prevent confusion and delays in processing the approval.
I hope that this helps answer your question. For more information about short sales, please talk with your Realtor.
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty