And the waiting begins. What can we expect from our realtor in terms of following our offer on a short sale?

Asked by Sophie, Sacramento, CA Sat Aug 16, 2008

We made an offer, @ 8% less than the asking price, on a home listed as a short sale. The seller approved the sale. Now we are waiting. Our realtor is working with the seller's realtor. What should our realtor be doing on our behalf?

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Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Tue Aug 19, 2008
Sue, I am pretty sure that banks don't talk to prospective buyers about short sales in Seattle eithier. I think Jim from Seattle was either pulling our collective legs, or thought he was answering a would be seller instead of a prospective buyer.

Even in that case his advice is amusing. Imagine a bank employee ( other than in house counsel, or vice president level executive ) giving any kind of promise or answer at all with an attorney present.
1 vote
Randall Yates, Other Pro, Dallas, TX
Sun Sep 29, 2013
It's a waiting game, you should be looking at back up homes in the event your offer is not accepted.
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Steve, , 95624
Fri Aug 7, 2009
"What should are Realtor be doing on our behalf"
These questions kill me.
What kind of relationship do you have with your Realtor?
Did your Realtor explain the process of home buying and short sales?
The seller does not approve the sale the bank does and this can take awhile.
A real estate transaction is a legal binding contract and requires professional representation.
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Annie Nguyen, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed Nov 5, 2008
Dear Sophie,

Your Realtor just need to follow up with the listing agent. The seller won't be able to approve your offer because
the house is in foreclosure so the lender will be the one who make decision on the approval of your offer or they will do the counter offer. Your Realtor has to cooperate with the listing agent in harmony to get the deal closed. At the same time your Realtor will help you to do research on the house. He or she can order the preliminary report so you can check the title and check to see there is any judgment or lien against the owner or property.Good luck
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Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sun Aug 17, 2008
Jim, I'm curious about the real estate business in Seattle vs. California. I don't think it works the same here so I'd love your perspective on how it's different. You can't insist that the bank do anything. As far as they are concerned the ownership of the property is with the current owner. If they are delinquent, their only option is to begin foreclosure processing (they can go through the judicial process but it's not a good alternative). The lender will contact a trustee, and the trustee will conduct the foreclosure process as defined by law.

The lender cannot speak to another party until the conclusion of the foreclosure, unless given specific authority by the owner. A buyer's attorney, a buyer, a buyer's realtor....none have any right to any conversation with the lender and will be granted none. The owner's realtor cannot speak to the lender without written authorization by the owner given to the lender. Seattle must be different than here.
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Jim, , Seattle, WA
Sun Aug 17, 2008
You are asking the wrong question. What are YOU doing? If your realtor is getting the run around, do the following: Visit the bank in person, after making an appointment with the bank. Bring your friendly real estate attorney with you. Insist that the bank move on the transaction ( your counsel can do the talking). I had the same thing happen in a purchase of mine. You have to have patience and you can never lose your temper. Don't make demands. Make the bank tell you what they plan to do next.

Good luck!
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Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sun Aug 17, 2008
We are all saying the same thing, I think. So Sophie, I'd like to ask you....did you do a market valuation (often called a CMA- comparative market analysis?) on what the real value of the home is? (Is your offer at this value?) Has anyone checked whether the seller is delinquent on payments, or in foreclosure? Has the bank done an appraisal of the property to determine what they think it's worth? Who is the lisitng agent talking to at the bank (normally loss mitigation dept, not customer service) , and have they said that they would respond to a short sale offer? (how experienced is the listing agent in selling short sale properties?)

If even one of these answers aren't correct, then move on. You can ask your realtor to call everyday and they will get the same answer from the listing agent....'No response yet'. Go find a home that's actually for sale, or wait for this one to go into foreclosure and buy it then.
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Erin, , South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sun Aug 17, 2008
Hi Sophie: First of all, before you make your offer, your agent should check with the listing agent to "make sure" the bank has already approved a short sale. The bank will give the listing agent a minimum price they will accept after they have received their third party price opinions from other Realtors. Before the bank can ask for these opinions, they need the lengthy short sale package from the Seller and an offer from a buyer. That price should be the listed price. If your offer is less than that, you're in for a long wait and possible failure of your offer. You can place a time frame or ending date on your offer for bank approval. In the meantime if you don't have your heart set on this particular home, it would be wise to keep your eye out for another home unless the above criteria has been met, which it sounds like to me with your question that it hasn't.

So the most important thing your agent can do is to find out the status of the short sale process with the lender.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sun Aug 17, 2008
i think the odds on actually closing a shory sale are greater then the 90 to 1. the key is to ask (and usually before you make an offer) how far along are you on the short sale. In a short sale the bank first has to agree to look at the short sale by having the seller fill out everything about their current economic state, what they make, what their expenses are, why they are behind in their payments and that leads me to another issue, no, the bank will not usually accept a short sale if the poeple are not behind in their mortgage. NOW once the bank has stated they will accept the seller into a short sale potential, the agent submits the offer, submits a new sheet showing what the bankk wil get and should include a bpo of his own showing why the property is worth less. The bank will then hire an appraiser or independant agent to to an appraisal or brokers price oppinion. they will then determine if they (the bank) is better of taking a short sale or taking the property in foreclosure. NOW your agents duty is constant contact, where exactly are they in the short sale process, what is needed to be done, what is missing and/or what does the bank need. The sale will go only as well as the asset manager for the bank and the agent who submitted have done their job. Hoipefully your agent has added an addeendum giving you a way out if and when it takes too long. Good luck
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John Hickey, Agent, La Crescenta, CA
Sat Aug 16, 2008
Hi Sophie,

There really isn't much your agent can do.

The seller has to complete a ton of paperwork for the bank proving that they can't afford the house. Once the bank believes them and has adequate documentation the bank will approve the sale. Things that can go wrong include, the seller can't/won't complete the paperwork, the bank employee doesn't trust the seller, the banks "BPO" (Broker's Price Opinion) suggests the bank can do better by foreclosing, the bank employee caseload being to big - and the list goes on.

As you have already heard, keep looking. If you trust your agent and if your agent believes that the seller & seller's agent are doing what they are supposed do then that's about all you can do.

Good luck,

John Hickey
Dilbeck Realtors, GMAC
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Beth Moran, Agent, Folsom, CA
Sat Aug 16, 2008
Keep looking. Short sales are only as good as the banks employees and most rival even the best state workers (and I mean that in the nicest sort of way). Honestly, short sales are a dime a dozen right now and the banks don't know who to trust so keep looking and submitting're bound to find another and the odds of your closing on this offer are about 90 to 1.
Good luck. And just so you know I've closed a couple of short sales but it took a minimum of 4 months.
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