This is not the normal process for a short sale.
There are many things that can go wrong during a short sale. For example, the short sale bank may not agree with your price. It may counter you. The seller might not qualify for a short sale. If there are 2 loans, the second lender could demand more money than the first lender is willing to pay. Heaven forbid, should the loans be hard money, the second lender may not be willing to work with the first lender at all. And even if the loans aren't hard money, both lenders might demand a seller contribution, which the seller may refuse.
On top of all of this, if you signed a short sale addendum, the seller might receive a higher offer and send that new offer to the bank, knocking you out of the transaction all together. There are a lot of reasons not to order an appraisal or start your loan process until you have received the bank's short sale approval letter and the seller has accepted the terms and conditions in that approval letter.
I won't confuse with Real Estate talk, simply put, what you are going through is VERY common. If your bank is simply waiting for the sellers bank to submit the approval then that's exactly what's going on. Short sale lenders do take their time sometimes. Please don't worry. You'll be in your new home soon enough. Good luck :)
Since some of my Sacramento fellow-agents have already responded with such accuracy, I won't repeat the facts they've already provided. I will add one thing I think is important.
You didn't mention which bank the seller's loan is with. While it is true that short sales can be longer and more complicated, a new ruling went into effect April 5th of 2010 called HAFA. If the bank was previously HAMP-friendly, it will automatically be HAFA-friendly. What all this means to you is this: HAFA short sales are taking much less time and closing is much more likely.
HAFA doesn't apply to FHA loans just yet.
I am hoping that both your agent and the listing agent both have enough short sale skill and experience so that they had enough insight to feel your deal will go through, because otherwise, you won't get your bucks back.
As far as being reimbursed your deposit, you need to read your Short Sale Addendum. The first paragraph states how the deposit is to be handled. I can't say here, because I don't know how your transaction was written.
Question: Have you talked with your agent about this??????
Best of luck to you.
From what I can tell, your lender told you escrow was opened and you are under contract because you have the offer that the selling lender is reviewing and looking to approve. Until you have short sale approval from the seller's lender nothing else can move forward. Once you have approval then it will be changed to pending in the MLS, and everything proceeds from there. Your agent should be able to guide you through this process, and give you more information about how long you can expect to wait. As far as your reimbursement is concerned, you should look over your contract and your agent should let you know what everything means.
Hang in there and good luck!
There's two appraisals that have to be done... I'm not sure which one we are talking about here. Whom ever told you the appraisal was done may have not been clear enough.
But...? One appraisal is done as part of the requirements for the new mortgage you are applying for... and the 2nd appraisal or opinion of value will be done by the existing lender (short sale lender) to make sure that they get as much money out of it as they can.
What they do is order a Broker Price Opinion (BPO)..., sometimes they get a couple of them. The Short Sale Bank will compare the two, the one your appraiser prepares and the BPO's... if there's a conflict that doesn't match...? for example your appraisal comes in lower than the agreed upon price? What happens then is they will then go through another process that will slow down the close date a little. The good news is that in my experience Short Sale Lenders/Banks do come down to accommodate the deal.
I hope this helps....
Make it a great day....