Offers been in 3 months. Owner just rented the short sale to a family how can the owners rent it so close to us closing?

Asked by Robob89, Cedar City, UT Thu Jan 26, 2012

We placed an offer on a short sale home, we were told short sales are taking up to 3-4 months to hear if the offer was accepted or not. Well 3 months have gone by and we drove by the house to check on it from time to time, well this time there was a uhaul out front and the power was on and people had moved in? We followed up contacting our agent and he said that the owners were renting it and that we would find our in the near future if we would be closing on the home soon! How can the owners rent the house out? Especially so close to buyers (me) coming up on closing? I’m way bugged knowing people have moved in knowing the home is now being abused being moved into, moved out of, and to top it off they have two large dogs living inside. This is not want i had in mind when we placed the offer on the home, we were told 3-4 months time and we would know and begin the process for us to be the buyers and home owners. Is there anything we can do to get the people that have moved in out of the

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Derek Seal, Agent, Sandy, UT
Thu Jan 26, 2012
Unlike Suzanne's answer below - I agree with you it is unnerving to know that renters are there and I agree it can cause a lot of problems for you.

First I would hope that your agent counseled you that with short sales there are no guarantees. It sounds as if you are holding out hope for this one, the key is not to fall in love with any one house. While you will have the option to re-inspect the property and decide to continue on, you really should be looking at more properties.

Secondly, not all short sales are successful - about 20% of the time homes end up in foreclosure. Now with a renter in the property - it is probably safe to assume it would take 60 days to 1 year to see that home back on the market.

Lastly, since you have an offer on a short sale - your agent should have told you about filing a notice of sale - this notice would notify you if and when the property is going to auction. A lot of times people wake up one morning and find the home has been foreclosed on - I would hate for this to happen. Having this notice filed at the county will give you a heads up since you have an interest in what happens.

If you have additional questions, we are happy to help.

Derek Seal
Real Estate Expert
Realty Executives Utah Experts
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Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Thu Jan 26, 2012
I know this is not the answer you want to hear, but the fact is the house belongs to the owner until the day you close and he can do with it as he sees fit as long as it is in subsantially the same condition it was in when you made the offer. There is absolutly nothing you can do about it, because, and I don't want to be harsh here but, you don't own it.

You don't really know that the house is being abused, it is merely being lived in. For all you know the renters are taking very good care of the house and, in fact, it might be left in better condition than if it had been vacant. Out here on the East Coast, if a house is empty during winter months all kinds of bad things could happen, pipes could freeze and burst, roofs could leak or even cave in from the weight of the snow and ice, it might be a good thing to have someone living in the house and taking care of it.

If you don't like it, you can withdraw your offer. That is really your only recourse. I have a home right now that is a short sale and the owner has a renter living there. They are on a month to month lease, fully aware of the pending short sale and they are taking very good care of the house. In fact I, as the listing agent, am very grateful to have the tenant there because she is being very cooperative and the house shows much better with her living there.

The choice is yours, continue with the purchase or withdraw your offer but in either case it's good to remember that, with any purchase of a home, until the actual day you close, the home belongs to the seller and they can pretty much do with it as they please.
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