It sounds like they waited to receive other offers, but that yours has officially expired. You probably have the highest offer because few will offer asking price for a foreclosure unless they know there will be a bidding war or they know it is significantly undervalued at the listing price. So if yours was the highest, they want to make sure they can begin working yours again with a valid contract (not expired). In TN, banks have an understanding of our homes' market value, so most are pricing them along with the rest of the market (maybe slightly under) in hopes to still get market value or close to it. Since your offer has expired, I would take this time to re-evaluate the situation and gather more research. I'm sure you did plenty prior to the offer, but foreclosures are a different bird...you can't be too prepared. What is the home really worth as you look at recent comparable sales, the "true" condition of the property, the costs it will take to bring it back up to market value (if it is not already in tip top condition and completely updated). Since it will be in "as is" condition, do you have someone who can truly evaluate the property to see the things that might be easily missed? Then you have to consider many things like...who really owns the property now? Is it in short sale where the bank is accepting offers but it's really in pre-foreclosure with the previous owner? If it's in pre-foreclosure, how many liens are on the property and which loan is in foreclosure? If it's one of several loans, then is the most senior loan in foreclosure or is it a secondary one? That is VERY important to know. Are there any other liens on the property for property taxes, income taxes, etc.? If the bank owns it outright, that is one thing, but if it is in the process of being foreclosed on...without much careful research you could unexpectedly end up with responsibility for certain liens. You will not get title insurance in this case, so it is your responsibility to research the title.
If it is completely bank owned at this point, you will just have to know how to navigate through the hoops and know how to negotiate with them. I still recommend using a professional for this. They sell them as is, usually, so it needs to be a win/win for all, not just the bank. So price is where I would think the buyer has the most potential for a "win" out of the situation. How much did they acquire the property back for (what was the outstanding loan balance that was foreclosed?) How much is list over or under that? Compare that to market value using the last few months sales of comparable properties and see how much that is over or under that. How much $ work will be required, etc.? There are many more things, but I would start by making sure you have answers to some of the important questions (if some are unclear).
Tina Evans, Principal Broker