Unfortunately and FORTUNATELY real estate sale contracts MUST be in writing to be enforceable in the court.
Even *assuming* the listing agent is truthful with your agent and your agent is truthful with you, even then you need to have the final short sale approval in writing to be legally valid and enforceable.
It really makes my blood boil to read of your situation. You wife is ready to deliver, you've patiently waited out the process of the short sale only to be betrayed at the last hour. The previous owner very likely was treated in a similar manner.
As your agent advised you at the very beginning, short sales are the Wild Wild West of real estate. The sheriff (bank) holds, deals and sees all the cards. You, as the buyer have the least influence in the process and will indeed be the most abused. Here in Florida less that 30% of listed short sales close. With a track record like this only the thick skinned, infinitely patient and seasoned buyer should venture into this colossal mess.
Rather that chase bad money with good money, have your real estate professional show you bank owned property (have an attorney) or traditional sales. They can close quickly and you can find good values.
I understand that our great nation has turned into a communist state that needs to have the common man under their bootheel and make sure the banks can never be touched. :)
I suggest that before you sue anyone and lose more time and money, you consult a real estate lawyer who is very experienced with short sales to make sure that you have a winnable case.
Real estate sale contract is between the purchaser and the seller - only.
Obviously, the short selling seller can sell only IF the seller's lender/lenders approve the short sale - LEGALLY the lenders are NOT obligated to approve the short sale UNLESS it's a good financial and business decision for the lender. Not all sellers qualify for the short sale. Sellers who might qualify for a short sale need to cooperate and be willing to provide all the necessary documents. Finally, the listing agent must submit all the paperwork on time and communicate with the lenders.
From what you wrote here, we only know that you have a signed contract with the seller - at least, I hope it is a ratified contract. The short sale approval needs to be in writing to have any value. You should not have had the appraisal and the home inspection done until the short sale was approved in writing and the title search done.
Your agent should have explained to you the risks associated with putting an offer on a short sale. Perhaps a traditional sale or a foreclosure would have been better choices for you, depending on your financing. Good luck with the transaction. I hope it works out for you and you are able to purchase this property.
Many times what seems "unfair" and "unjust" isn't wrong under the law.
I try very hard to make sure my clients understand the risks and potential rewards when they get into short sale situations - on either side. It sounds like you weren't fully educated about the risks to you as a buyer. Even if they reopen the file it doesn't mean you're going to get the house - you might, but no promises.
Short sales are slow and uncertain. Since you have certain needs that need to be addressed on a schedule you should look at regular sales and not crazy short sales. Good luck.
You said that you have an ACTIVE CONTRACT, and "WERE TOLD"; understand that VERBAL is not a Contract: Do you have a WRITTEN CONTRACT? If you do not, you have nothing.
As far as the extra 3 weeks; that is the nature of the beast;
I have had clients "jerked around" for a YEAR.
You just have to be patient; they are not trying to be mean, they just don't care.
Good luck and may God bless
I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with your short sale purchase but this usually does not without a reason.
Had the negotiator asked for information from the seller that wasn't provided?
Did the listing agent miss a deadline?
Was the approval in writing? A verbal approval is not considered by our Virginia Short Sale Contract to be an approval that would have triggered you to move forward with inspections and appraisals.
Hopefully your agent is advising you on your choices and that they can light a fire under Chase. My experience is that an email to the CEO's office will get them moving.
You may provide a copy of contract to the school to get the registration done. We do it all the time with new construction since the time frame is bit away and parents are anxious to enroll their kids in the school.