Sorry this answer is so long, but one more thing! We had to wait nearly a month for the bank to respond to the multiple short sale offers--we had written in our contract we could close 15 days after acceptance. The bank finally accepted us and said the price would only apply for a close within 7 days--which we were able to do. Thanks to a great lender and good inspectors and flexible clients. The bank would have honored our original terms but at a higher price so we went for it. Classic wait and hurry up scenario. Good luck!
Our advice is to identify an area and locate a local agent that understands the market. Additionally, we feel there is too much time and risk involved in "short sales" to get involved with them. We strongly suggest "foreclosures" over short sales because most of the hurdles have been dealt with prioor to foreclosure.
Your offer should be based on an awareness of the current local market. The recent area comps should provide information to clarify your position. Stay with the basics....if you really, really like the home and it's the one, it would be in your best interest to come in with a higher offer so you minimize the risk of loosing it to another buyer.
We would be happy to provide a referral for a top area agent if needed.
The "Eckler Team"
The comps are just one of the elements in determining the acceptable selling price- the mortgage balance(s) are a critical factor as well.
In a foreclosure that is already bank or lender owned- the time frames are significantly reduced and the asking price is generally a little negotiable. Often, if the property is in a HOT area or priced extremely well; therer are several offers that the lender can choose from. Naturally, they take the highest and/or best offer received.
I have not heard of being required to use any particular lender, title company, etc. That requirement may be against the law.
When you're making an offer on a Short Sale your Agent will need to know the market as to what has sold in terms of the homes competition and will typically offer below the market value.
As far as time frame; this varies depending on the Lender of the Seller and the Seller's Agent. I've received approvals in less than 30 days and some have taken over 75 days; variance with me was due to the Lenders Short Sale process and their file load.
Concessions are a possibility. It will have a lot to do with how much room the Lender has to net what it is that they're looking for. If there are a lot of other costs such as unpaid HOA fees and unpaid taxes, the Lender may have less room to offer any type of concession.
As far as how successful Short Sales can be goes back to what I said before; the Sellers Agent. I've closed Short Sales and have had a great rate of success.
You wanted to know if its required that you use a particular Lender for your financing; I've seen this request with just a few Listings yet typically this isn't the norm from what I've seen. Your Agent would have to have the discussion with the Listing Agent.
I hope I've answered some of your concerns for you. You should know that Short Sales Sales really do work and all you and your husband will need is a little patience. If that's the worse that can happen for getting a great home on sale, you should be so fortunate! Best Wishes!