Others have given you great advice but I want to add a couple of things to consider.
1) Always elect to have your REALTOR speak with the Listing Agent / Broker and get the updates. The Listing Agent / Broker is actually the person speaking and negotiating with the lender, not typically the Seller.
2) Don't spend any money on an appraisal or inspections unless the full approval letter has been issued by the lender(s) AND SIGNED BY THE SELLER(S). The approval can be issued, but if the Seller does not sign the letter, they can walk at any time.
3) The Seller is likely in financial distress in multiple ways and they do not need or eant any more pressure especially from an aggressive / active Buyer. This will just place more pressure on them and they will push back even more.
4) Is there anything FACTUAL that indicates the seller is not cooperating with the short sale? Is there anything FACTUAL that suggests the Seller is trying to stay in the property as long as possible?
5) Is there any indication the Seller may file Bankruptcy? If so, EVERYTHING STOPS IMMEDIATELY upon the filing and your deposit could be tied up in escrow until the BK Executor releases it. That deposit could be considered an "asset of the BK".
6) If there is ANY FACTUAL INDICATION the seller will attempt to forestall the Short Sale..... You need to GET OUT of this transaction ASAP !
At the end of the day, talk to YOUR Agent / REALTOR and make a contingency plan in the event the seller stops coopperating. On the other hand, if the Seller IS cooperating, you shouldn't be that far away from an approval if it's already been 90 days and the lender(s) have EVERYTHING they need from the Seller.
Best of luck,
Broker / Owner
Thom Colby Properties
Newport Beach, CA
Moving Lives Forward (TM)
We NEVER DOUBLE-END Transactions in our Brokerage. IN MY OPINION, there is NO benefit to the Seller or Buyer and only benefits the Agent.
Dealing with a short sale is a real challenge for everyone. It can be extremely frustrating to wait long periods of time and hear nothing. Unfortunately what you are dealing with happens often with a short sale. If the seller is not cooperating it may be a good idea to keep looking and see if something else comes on the market that you like. You should not pay for an appraisal until the short sale is approved and inspections and disclosures are often not done until the short sale is approved. Why spend any money until it is approved ? It is certainly understandable that you would want to do something pro active to attempt to move forward. If the seller is actually doing things that will stop the short sale from proceeding you may want to move on. You can do as you wish but the seller is most likely not responsible for the delay in the short sale being approve. If you like and trust your realtor let him/her know how you are feeling so they can try to get any information for you so you can have some concept on what is going on to help with frustrations. Many short sales take 3-6 months to get approved. There are many questions your agent can ask to help determine the probability of the short sale being approved.
If the seller is dragging his heels, then you'd probably be better off finding another property. The short sale will never go through unless the seller is cooperative . . . and even then, a lot don't go through.
So, it's a lost cause unless the seller is willing to cooperate. Your talking to him might just get him to be more cooperative. So, give it a try. (Let your agent know first. And you're right; your agent won't be pleased. But, again, you're the boss. You're the buyer.) But be prepared to continue your house hunting.
Hope that helps.
I have to agree with the opinion below. The problem with a short sale is the waiting! The seller basically is powerless in this transaction. It is the bank that is not communicating with the seller, and basically neither the agent nor the seller likely know anything at this pointl.
If I were your agent or lender I wouldn't allow you to spend money for an appraisal or anything else at this point.....not until you have written approval from the bank as to conditions and most of all price. The bank will do their own appraisal when and if the short sale gets approved.
The process can take 6-9 months depending upon where it is in the negotiation stage. Talking with the seller will accomplish nothing as they most likely know nothing more than you do at this point.
Best of Luck!
He then went on to say that by not selling he could stay in the house without paying a mortgage or rent. That he was protected from foreclosure as long as he had a buyer. Fantastic!!! I don't think I want to post what happened after that comment. Needless to say a few months later the house went off the market, and I understand it's back on the market now.
I moved on and bought a home in North Santa Ana instead.
I understand the impulse to go talk to them. Your agent.....agents here.....me...none of us are going to think this is a good idea. There can be misunderstandings when the parties meet without their agents. However....your agent might be able to arrange a meeting with all of you. You, the sellers, the agents to talk? I might also suggest that you write a card/note to the sellers, run it by your agent and then see if the seller's agent would give it to them. Understand that the seller's agent must also be frustrated by the sellers refusal to cooperate...so they also want to find resolution or allow everyone to move on.
Just some ideas.
With regards to an appraisal, do you mean the appraisal from the lender who is approving the short sale, or an appraisal from your own lender.
In general, I would recommend communicating through your Real Estate Agent directly as opposed to going to the sellers.
Bad idea. The reason people hire Realtors is so the Realtors can work together to get a deal closed. Once buyers and sellers start communicating directly, something inevitably goes wrong. Short Sales take time and the seller can't do anything to speed the procees up. The lender's negotiator controls the speed of the process. All the Listing Agent can do is stay in constant contact with the lender's negotiator and hope that keeps the file on the 'top of the pile' of the many files the negotiator is working on. The seller not wanting to complete the disclosures makes sense since it is alot of work and they don't know if the lender(s) are going to approve the short sale or not. However, since you pay for the appraisal, you might want to remind them of that fact and if you're willing to take the chance of losing your money (in case the short sale doesn't get approved), they shouldn't mind. Have your Realtor check with their Realtor again on the appraisal reminding them you are paying for it, not them.
They have nothing to do with your delay! They are not slowing it down, and they cannot speed it up!
You are not listening to your Agent:
If you are impatient, you should not enter into a Short Sale:
Please do not tell your Agent that this is YOUR TIME AND MONEY:
You have no control over this and neither does he.
I know you have heard every cliche':
Well, here's another one; I had one ShortSale that took nine months to get a rejection.
Good luck and may God Bless
Keep looking. If what you suspect is correct, you are powerless to do anything short of bribing the seller to cooperate, which would not go over well with the lender and may cause them to decline the approval.
I always advise buyers to keep their eyes open while waiting for a short sale approval. All to often with cooperative sellers and skilled agents they still don't get approved.
By keeping the process in play, but continuing to look you keep your options open. If a great house comes on the market that is not a short sale you may be able to rescind the short sale purchase & buy the other. Discuss this strategy with your agent and review your contracts to be certain of your options.
I don't believe you talking with the seller will do anything other than make you feel like you have done everything you can. Looks like they are planning on dragging it out for as long as possible. Really they have just started, you are in for a long ride if you only focus on this house.
I would suggest finding another house with real sellers, more bluntly, move on. There are some short sales I believe will never actually sell until the bank takes them back and lists them as a foreclosure. That may happen here but if the home is under priced now to get your offer which stalls the auction it will be at a different price.
Brian Wilson, Realtor