A short sale approval will require FULL cooperation of the seller, they have to prove to the bank that they can't repay, and it is an involved process.
If at any point the ball is dropped, even months into it, the deal will die.
The short sale buyer must have patient endurance, and the seller must be willing for the financial investigation by the bank, and some fees are going to have to be paid, but they don't have to be paid up front.
A year or so from now it may be available directly from the bank when they finalize the foreclosure. Otherwise, your option is to work with the seller at this time.
Your agent should be able to guide you. There are many experienced people working short sales now, unlike a few years ago.
So, if you truly want that house, you are at the mercy of the Seller and his attorney. I wouldn't suggest paying any money "upfront" but you may have to agree to the $2500 fee at closing. I've seen short sales requiring $10k so count yourself lucky!
Lastly don't think you'll get a bargain price. If the house is worth $600k, you will not likely be able to buy it for $500k. $550k... maybe.
The list price is "ficticious" until/if both the Seller and the price have been vetted.
Alma Rose Kee PA
Future Home Realty
You need the seller to sign a purchase contract as the nbank doesnt own the house.
Report him to the bar and the bank, then find another house.
So try your bargain priced offer but you MUST continue looking up until the day you get a counteroffer or final approval. It may be in a week or could take 6 months from now...
You'll also need to plan for mold remediation if the house is empty during the humid summer months. Also I see sellers putting in a tenant with destructive pets "after" they get a contract so plan on the condition being significantly different from today by the time you eventually get approval to sell.
Oh and there is also a Deed for Lease program where owner can remain in the property as a "tenant" and pay rent.