Home Buying in Elk Grove>Question Details

D, Home Buyer in Modesto, CA

Should we sue for specific performance on a short sale? Or are there other options available?

Asked by D, Modesto, CA Sat Mar 9, 2013

After several months of waiting, our short sale offer has been approved by the bank, the seller has accepted our offer and all that remains is close of escrow. However, the seller has suddenly stopped communicating and it seems he no longer wants to move. What should we do? (we asked our realtor but not much of a help)

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You might want to start with the agents broker....but the reality is depending on what addendums you signed, the structure of the contract, and the reason the Seller is not communicating could be a factor that may affect any advise you would recieve on here. Consulting an attorney with all of the facts would be a wise choice. But let's say the Seller just has decided to give the house back to the bank ( don't know why they would but let's just say that)...your contract is with the Seller not the bank so they wouldn't be bound to complete the sale, that belongs to the Seller. Now let's assume you wish to sue, well the Seller has demonstrated a hardship to the bank so recovering anything from them could be a waste of effort.

I think your first step is to get your agents broker involved who can then call the listing agents broker who could put light on the situation..

Hope it works out for you

Bruce Slaton
Realty World eCurb REALTORS
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 9, 2013
I have always told my buyers the scenario you describe is a possibility, a bankruptcy filing or plain old cold feet by the seller after bank approval. I'll bet that your buyers agent mentioned this possibility to you at the beginning, so many months ago, and you chose to not hear it.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
Time for you to move on. It will be a waste of time and money
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
Your frustration is easily understood.....you have undoubtedly been through a lot!

As you have explained, everyone is finally on board with this sale except possible the seller? Prior to considering taking legal action, it would be advisable to have your agent confer with the listing agent to determine what is holding things up. There could be any number of minor issues that need to be resolved before the seller feels comfortable moving forward.

If your agent isn't getting you the results you need consider contacting the listing agent yourself.

Good luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013

I suggest you contact an attorney and see if there is a real estate fraud department in the local District Attorneys office.

Agents cannot give legal or tax advice. From what I understand from the experts is that you have a binding contract, but you would have to make sure that there is nothing in the offer that gives the seller an out.

The above is not legal advice, consult a competent attorney as opposed to an incompetent attorney.

Al Goldberg Broker
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 9, 2013
A short sale, by the term itselt, tells you that the homeowner/seller is having difficulty making their mortgage payments, or for some other reason has a hardship. Anyone can put a sign in the yard and say they've got the house up for sale. Unfortunately in this market, that doesn't make the homeowner or the listing agent an expert in negotiating that sale to the satisfaction of the homeowner's lender who has the final decision on the satisfaction of the loan in place.

A short sale has risks for a buyer. The homeowner may not have been properly informed that they have other options than to sell. The homeowner's personal situation may have changed such that they can now keep their home. I doubt that a homeowner would, after deciding for a short sale, decidee instead to let it foreclose (a much worse choice).

Yes, you can always consult an attorney and sue. They love to take your money, and the aggravation will be your added benefit. However, I doubt that you will be awarded the home from a distressed homeowner/seller. Short sales can be great deals, if you're willing to wait for the short sale approval, and if you've been assured that the listing agent actually has the skills and background to negotiate with the seller's lender. And LAST, that the agent has reviewed all other options with the homeowner prior to listing their home. That would ensure that the decision for the short sale had been well analyzed such that the homeowner did not qualify for other options when they put it on the market.

For you, I suggest you move on, and understand there are no guarantees on a short sale purchase offer in this market. I'm sorry for your disappointment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 3, 2013
You should go to you Realtor's Broker/Owner and voice you concerns. Saying that your Realtor is not much help is aweful, go to his/her manager/broker, ASAP
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
If your Realtor is not a help, then go to his or her broker. They are getting paid to represent your best interests.

Unfortunately, no Realtor can tell you whether you should sue for anything...we're not lawyers!

My best advice is to get brokers on both sides of the deal involved...

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
I'm with, "you should move on."

You can consult with an attorney, and I bet they'll tell you that most short sellers are broke and that by the time you get a court date, the property will have been foreclosed upon.

Whether the seller wants to move or not, they will be.

All the best,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
I agree with Bill Eckler and Bruce Slaton below that before I would even consider suing (you're as likely to be wasting time and money in my opinion) that your agent and the listing agent should talk to determine what the issue is. If you're not satisfied that your agent is up to the job then I would ask to speak to their broker in charge and tell them you expect them to get involved. If there are already attorneys involved (yours the banks etc) I would speak with them as well and ask what is holding up closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
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