Good luck to you.
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You are not the only buyer going through the exact same situation. Clients can often become suspicious, especially those who have gone through a "traditional" sale in the past. One of the most difficult things I've found with my clients is to get them to understand how crazy the process can be with a short sale. A good Agent should always try to prepare their clieint for the circus, but as much as you do, clients will always be nervous and frustrated. It's so hard when you're getting verbal updates and you want to keep your client informed, but in some cases too much info can be a problem because it causes worries such as yours.
No Agent that wants to actaully make any commission at all would create another step with a short sale by telling their client to send in more paperwork for the bank's representative to have to sift through - trust me! Even if that paperwork is a higher bid. It doesn't sound fishy at all to me. I would have a serious discussion with your Agent, and let them know that you're very nervous with the process and about what's going on. I'm sure they know already, but I believe it would be great to give them suggestions on how you would like to communicate to help aleviate some of your fears. Perhaps they could only let you know when they get something in writing so that you're not constantly being told different things and being twisted in different directions. It's important for an Agent to know how they can best serve you.
Anser to "what's taking so long to do the final step": Welcome to the world of dealing with banks! They just have a ton of files to sift through and unfortunately to them you're simply a number. They're highly understaffed (or so they say. )
Short sales have not rules...and yes, it is common to get a verbal counter with no paperwork. Run the comps or pay an appraisor to give you a value estimate. If it is a good deal, take it and run, if not run anyway. I can assure you your agent is just a frustrated as you are. Short sales take a lot more time and energy for your agent.
Diane Conaway has it all right. By the way, there are NO regulations for Short Sales so anything goes.
It is a rocky road at BEST. You must be prepared for anything.
In our opinion, talk to your agent.
Best to you,
Mark and Kari Shea
San Diego Real Estate Experts
Foreclosure, Short Sale & Investment Specialists,
Development Opportunities & Traditional Real Estate
You really do have to have a good rapport and trust in your agent. If you don't, for some reason, you will continually doubt their word, and wonder if what they are doing is in your best interest. If you feel this way strongly, my advice would be to start to interview other agents. It will never work for either of you this way.
Run comps...have your agent run comps...ask the listing agent for comps....(comparable sales)
Let me know if I can help you in any way!
Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker)
California Cool 4 Sale
Prudential California Realty
Direct Phone: 760-757-3468
License # 01341483