Who told you that they hadn't signed?
The Seller can block a Shortsale from happening; but they would be stupid to do that.
Maybe they are getting bad advice.
I hope this answered your question! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me by the ways below.
Wishing you all the best,
De Vonte Williamson
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Proudly Serving Long Island
Coldwell Banker Residential
"I Stand Behind Getting You Results!
I am a Short Sale Specialist in Dutchess County. First off NYS is attorney driven from Albany South with all Real Estate Transactions. So with that said, if you have put a purchase offer in and have it accepted and you have done a home inspection and you still want to move forward contracts are the next step. Banks will want a full Short Sale Package, which include fully executed contracts. If you do not sign contract you might loose the house to another offer on the house. You can find more information at http://www.CDPE.com.
This offer is forwarded to the lender/investor for further negotiation including the actual sale price.
When this is completed and accepted by the potential buyer. the resulting agreement is then presented to the home owner. The bank may very well have altered the agreement to include a poison pill unacceptable to the owner such as requiring a cash payment or promissory note or a 1099 which will make the owner responsible to the IRS for 30% of the 'forgiven' amount. That could mean a $30,000 IRS bill if the forgiven amount is $100,000 which is not uncommon. This is often the element that compels the owner to choose bankruptcy to wipe the slate clean. This means...NO DEAL! Of course, you the buyer may be presented with some unusual options at this point.
The home owner, in your situation, may be stymied with choosing their least worst option. The owner can choose not to respond at all. Did you read that only 30% of intital short sale offer succeed? It's a consulted, complex, ill-logical process where reasonable people come to realize they can not expect reasonable action especially when a too big to fall is involved.
You have choose to enter into a Short Sale, the "Wild, Wild,West of Real Estate," where there exists an illusion of rules, but anything can and does happen. If you need to know 'What the rules are," you may have entered into an environment not suitable for you.
Best of success to you.
Since it's the seller that must initiate a "short sale" and approve a sale price before sending it to the lender for approval, this is a most curious question. It sounds like there could be more here than meets the eye......