CONTACTED HOME OWNER to let her know that I would like to purchase

Asked by Njbuyer, New Jersey Thu Dec 2, 2010

I found a home that I love but the listing expired and since it was a short sale my agent was VERY reluctant and discourageing. So I researched the home owner and contacted them expressing my desire to purchase. Long story short I am WAITING for response from the bank. The house has been unoccupied by almost 2 years now with very visible HOLES in the soffit that I 'm sure squirrels have manifested. My situation is that I need to move NOW and not sure if this home may be a money pit or an excessive wait. the sellers have written letters to governmental officials and the president of the bank that holds the mortgage in an attempt to get approval with previous offers and so I dont think this should be a "typical' long wait . All I want to do is to buy this house. Any thoughts/guidance

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MAP1922, Other Pro, Newport, OR
Fri Feb 4, 2011
I'm interested to know if this home buyer is still around. I do short sales as an attorney and also foreclosure mediations for the court. Right now homeowners can take up to two years to delay a foreclosure sale and then at the last moment file bankruptcy which renders the entire situation moot.
If anyone is in a time "crunch" and needs to move, avoid foreclosures and short sales. Go to a home on the market traditionally. UNLESS you see the paper with the approval from the bank for a short sale (which some banks such as CHASE are now doing I have learned this month) proceed with caution and be extremely patient.
Good luck!
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Marc Pollak, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue Dec 21, 2010
NJ Buyer,

Lots of great information below. As stated earlier, it concerns me that you are in a position where you need to move quickly and then went shopping for a short sale. In the very nature of a short sale, you will NOT move quickly. Banks follow their own timetables and are not going to drop everything and come running to you because you have an offer. I am assuming you are out of attorney review at this time and the bank has the file. Be careful shopping for a different house at this time. Check what I am about to say with your attorney, but it is my understanding that when you have an offer in on a short sale the bank does not have it until it has passed through attorney review. This makes it a "Unilateral Contract" meaning that you are bound to it but the bank is not. If the bank decides to accept your offer, you could be forced to purchase the house and they probably will not care if you have bought something else in the mean time.

When ever I work a shortsale I put a "drop dead" date on the deal. Meaning if I have not heard back from the bank by the stated date, the offer is no longer on the table and my client is not required to make the purchase. even if the bank decides to accept the offer, if we have passed the drop dead date my client can safely say no.

Again, check that information with your attorney.

Hope this was helpful,

Marc Pollak
Sales Associate
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Sean M Farley, Agent, Ramsey, NJ
Tue Dec 21, 2010
Hi Home Buyer- I like your tenacity and persistance. Truth is Short Sales are challenging, but not impossible. Many real estate professionals stay away from Short Sales for this simple reason. Without knowing the details on what the market value is for this home, on what is owed, on whether a Lis Pendens has been filed, on what the previous owner has in other liens on the property; it is very difficult to know how long the bank will take to give "Short Sale Approval."
Know one thing, it is not possible to get their "Net Proceeds from Sale" and approval until an offer has been made. Further, I would suggest lining up a soup to nuts Team to help you through some of these hurdles. Walking a Short Sale as a buyer and for the homeowner w/o folks who have done them will do more harm then good.
I am happy to consult with you about what to expect and how to get this done to make your dream home yours. In addition, if the home is 2 years vacant there are other items to discover:
1. Is the home in pre-foreclosure? When is the tax sale?
2. Can you get in to inspect the home for little critters, for damage to the physical property and has the home been winterized?
3. Might it be worth it to wait for the foreclosure to take full effect?

All things considered, I would not shy away from this opportunity as it could present you your dream home at a great value and you might be able to get the bank to take care of some of the above issues.



PS- if this is too much info in one shot, call me to discuss 201-286-7206
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Lynn Dachisen, Agent, Bernards Township, NJ
Tue Dec 7, 2010
NJ Buyer - I understand your pain! The home is most likely in a foreclosure status at this point. Check with the sheriffs office of the town to see if it's on the docket to foreclose soon. It may be a good idea to attend a "Sheriffs Sale" prior to this being sold at auction to understand the process. But as others have said, you should continue your search, and not wait for this home. In this environment right now, you have no guarantees on what is happening with that home - especially if you have to move now!!! If you REALLY want to hold out for this home, then just take a month to month rent and then take your time deciding on a place - this one or otherwise. I understand that you like this home, but there is alot of inventory out there now, with alot of motivated sellers who really want to get their home sold. If I can help you further, feel free to contact me. -- Lynn

Keller Williams Towne Square Realty
24 Claremont Rd, Bernardsville, NJ
908 256-0508
- specializing in central jersey real estate
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Mon Dec 6, 2010
Hi NJBuyers, my recommendation is that you keep looking while you await word from the bank.

Short sales are taking less time than they did a year ago, but most of the efficiencies come when you work with resources that understand and can navigate through the process, which differs from bank to bank and has evolved over time. I just met an attorney that has a very high success rate with getting short sales closed and you can bet I'll refer business her way. I am certain that part of her success stems from understanding the process, and asking the right questions upfront to gauge the likelihood of success.

It worries me to hear that the seller has taken these actions to no avail - do they have an attorney working on their behalf? I hope so.

You agent and attorney should help clarify as best as possible the status and give you some prediction of what lies ahead.

Short sales have a higher degree of uncertainty and longer time line in general. Given your need to "move NOW" I would not recommend that you put all of your eggs in this one basket. Keep looking!

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
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Carolynn Mon…, Agent, Haworth, NJ
Fri Dec 3, 2010
Hi there NJbuyer: I've read some of the answers others have written and basically agree with all of them.

Not knowing all the smaller details of this home and offer I would offer some simple advice.....
"the squeaky wheel gets the oil".

Either you or your agent should be a pest to the bank.

Good luck!
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John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Dec 2, 2010
Hi NJ - this is unfortunate. It sounds as if you agent and attorney are both in experienced in short sales.

I find that most attorneys are inexperienced or too busy to deal with short sales. Those that do treat these deals like shooting fish in a bucket....easy money! They triple or quadruple their fees and don't really do much except put together the HUD. The paralegal usually will call once a week and wait for the bank, hence the 6 -8 months that some Realtors whine about.

This is NOT how to make a short sale work. It is unfortunate that you are in this situation. Same with Realtors, a lot of Realtors claim to know how to handle a short sale.. 99% do not. They make an offer and take it to an attorney, they have no idea of paperwork or what the steps are to make a short sale work.. then whine about the attorney not gettting back to them.. guess what? it is their own fault.

If your short sale goes into "attorney review" and has not been sent to the bank, has not been accepted by the bank or has no negotiator.. you have alreadly lost the battle and I guarantee it will take 6 months.

For those of you reading, if you want to buy a short sale or make an offer on short sale do yor DUE DILIGENCE and seek out a Realtor that has short sale experience and when the time comes, can recomend a good short sale attorney to close the deal.

Sorry for your situation, I hope it works out!
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Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Thu Dec 2, 2010
NJ you broke #1 rule; Dont fall in love with a home until you own it!
You state you need to move NOW. Have you had any inspections done to see how bad the place is? Have sellers accepted your offer? Will sellers let you do inspections before bank accepts? If so, do these if you want the place that badly. You may even get an appraisal to be certain you could get financing. These all cost money but could make closing quicker and easier or give you reason to move on.
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Njbuyer, Home Buyer, New Jersey
Thu Dec 2, 2010
I have an agen and attorney however they have not been very responsive and so I have taken it upon myself to research. I contacted the bank but they cannot discuss with me and I am waiting to hear back from my "agent' broker. My attorney says there is nothing that he can do. I know it will take a long time but I jsut want to know if they (bank) is working on it..that's all
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John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Thu Dec 2, 2010
Hi NJ Buyer, is your agent helping at all? or are you doing this yourself? You have an atttorney?Bank Contact inforamation? Did the seller authorize you to contact the bank?

There are aquestions? Who is the bank? who is making ocntct? have you spoken with the negotiator? has BPO been done? An Appraisal?

If you do not have an agent, and if not, at this point you probably can not get one involved email me your actual status with some answers and at least we can discuss it further.. in greater depth then I would want here.

John Sacktig
Oragne Key Realty
SFR Certifited- Short Sale and Forecloure Resource
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Karen Boyle, Agent, Ridgewood, NJ
Thu Dec 2, 2010
Great question, and typical concerns. While some short sales can be quick to close, others can take quite some time. Unfortunately, all parties involved are at the mercy of the bank holding the mortgage. My suggestion would be to speak with your attorney regarding any deposit monies that have been transferred. If you cannot wait, or don't wish to wait, you may have options to cancel. Understand that the owner is not obligated to fix the issues that may be occurring in the home now. That said, if you are willing to wait and make the necessary alterations or improvements on the house, then the wait might be worth it! I have been involved in a number of short sales and most have turned out to be taxing but rewarding in the long run. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best of luck. I always stick to the motto "if its meant to be, it will be".

If I can be of further assistance, feel free to contact me at any time.


Karen Boyle
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
c: (201) 734-1459
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Dec 2, 2010
Do you have an agent, if not, do you have an attorney and if so, is there a contract and has deposit money been exchanged....or is the seller working as a for sale by owner and directly negotiating with the lender --consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in real estate--do keep in mind that short sales are by no means fast sales.
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Maria FORSBE…, Agent, Hackensack, NJ
Thu Dec 2, 2010
Right, each buyer also needs to be approved, banks are different with their process, Short sales are not for everyone and seller has no money to fix so it may not be the best thing if you are in a rush, there is no way of knowing if it is a typical wait or not, even "approved" amounts can later on be rejected and files get forwarded to different departments and all depends on where the file is sittting or if it is under review. I have experience with this and so do other fellow realtors and I am sure they all agree that you just do not know how long it will take. Today I am closing on one deal I started with back in 2008, I submitted 5 contracts to the bank over this time and the last one finally got approved for real and we submitted that one back in July, the last 3 before were for the same amount and all of them were pre-approved by the bank but they did just not work out.
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Hugo W Meza, Agent, Clifton, NJ
Thu Dec 2, 2010
Who is doing the short sale? Every bank handles their short sale differently. How long have you been waiting for? Who is the investor? freddie, fannie Fha? Conventional? All this play a great deal.
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Melinda Cronk, Agent, Ridgewood, NJ
Thu Dec 2, 2010
Hello. While short sales can represent a great bargain for buyers who are willing to do the work, the downfall is that you have to be willing to wait through the approval process. Some short sales can be bank approved within weeks, and others have been known to take more than a year. If you are in a situation where you can't wait any longer, you should check with your attorney to see what your options are for terminating the contract. Otherwise, unfortunately the deal will only move as fast as the bank allows.
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