If the nobody is able to locate the owner there is nothing that can be done to buy it as a short sale. Until it is foreclosed it still belongs to him and he needs to sign the documents. I also assume that he has vacated the property. It is very possible that he just quit trying and left the property. Without more information it is impossible to really determine what happened and what are your options. Your agent should be able to find out and give you more information.
In any case, even if the owner was still around, the chances of any short sale closing are very low - even if you think you placed a good offer. At the end the bank might want more money (even more than the asking price), the owners might get a higher offer (if the property is still active and they are collecting offers), the bank(s) might not approve it all (because there is no hardship or for some other reason) and/or if there is more than one lien holder they might not agree on how much will go to the second (or third) lien holder.
If you really want that property an agent should be able to track it and notify you as soon as it becomes available as a foreclosed property. At that time the listing price will be approved by the bank.
Short sales are waiting game, if the listing agent has direct contact with the bank that will determine if your offer will be accepted. I would also ask if they have a short sale expert in place to get it sold.
Hopefully you are putting other offers in on homes.
Windermere Central LLC
Welcome to the wonderful world of "short sales" my friend.
The offer can still be presented to the lender if the listing agent is willing to negotiate it. You don't need signatures to present and get it accepted. You need signatures from the sellers to purchase it if the offer is accepted by the bank.
What I would suggest is all of the above and then see what happens. Here's the other issue. If it goes to foreclosure you might actually be able to purchase the home for less than your offer.
So there can be a positive side to this if you are patient.
Also, the home you desire likely has other comparables that surround it.
Your realtor should be sending you an automated search for other homes in and around that same area that are being listed and sold so you have a better feel of potential value for the home should it come around as a foreclosure. This will better prepare you for the offer in foreclosure.
A little further discussion with your buyers agent representing you should help better advise you.
Good Luck in your quest Shane.
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Keller Williams - Scottsdale, AZ
2008-2009 Master of Real Estate award recipient
Did you by any chance have a Buyer's Agent assisting you with the offer? Sounds like you're dealing directly with the homeowner's/seller's agent, which always make me a bit uneasy.
So basically, you''re saying that the listing agent's own client has gone into hiding? And it took her a month to find that out? Your offer should have been presented to the homeowner/seller immediately, and then within a day or two, s/he should have accepted, countered or rejected your offer. Then, and only then, the entire short sale package should have been submitted to the lender. Did any of that happen?
Anyway, as others have already stated, you MUST have the signature of the owner/seller on the contract AND the closing documents in order to make the transaction happen. If you cannot get him/her to cooperate, then you'll have no choice but to wait till the property is foreclosed and then placed on the market by the bank. Short sales are terribly difficult enough, and given the odds of success at about 10%, is it really worth it?
Best of luck!
You cannot buy this home if the owner is not able to sign documents. You'll need to locate the owner. Maybe you can hire a private investigator who can do a skip-trace, but if the owner just vanished, then obviously, he/she doesn't want to be found. This is another example of why 90% of short sales don't work out.
Buyer's Agent Realtor
Here the lender could accelerate the redemption period if the property has been abandoned. Otherwise, you would have to either get the seller's signatures or wait until the house goes back to the bank.