In looking over the answers so far I think your question was answered, but I would like to let you know a couple other things about short sales that you may not be aware of. An offer you put in will in most cases be only one of several that have been agreed to by the home owner because the bank (the 3rd party) wants to see all offers and will choose the best offer. So in getting your offer back as accepted by the homeowner, it does not mean you have a deal to purchase the house. You still await the 3rd party's approval.
Secondly, it's best to make your highest and best right off the bat because once the bank gets the offers and reviews them they will then try to do verbal negotiations with every party saying they want highest and best offers. There will be no traditional haggling back and forth with counter-offers. So if you really like a property indicate the offer is your highest and best (and leave no room for regrets) GIve it your best and be willing to wait weeks (in many cases) to find out the banks response. If you are not a patient person a short sale is not the way to go.
Thirdly, there is a chance the offer will sit with a bank for quite a while, then the date of auction approaches and the bank hasn't decided anything. The home goes to auction, if noone bids higher than the bank (who will bid so as not to risk too much in losses), the bank gets the property back it will be relisted as a REO. Then you get to start all over again. This happened to one of the short sales a client of my waited on. When listed as a REO (real estate owed) it is handled more like a traditional transaction.
So in conclusion, know that not all banks work the same way when it comes to their properties that are in default; is important that you determine just how long you're willing to wait once you put your offer in.
Most of my clients who are doing short sales (attempting to) continue to receive my automated searches matching their criteria (you can too)- just in case something better comes along.
Let me know if there is any way I can assist you. If you want to search properties, save your searches and favorites on my web site where you'll log in under your own secure login. I welcome you!!
Thank you for your great question!
June Lizotte, Realtor
Providing REAL Service
Prudential NW Properties
6400 SE Lake Rd., Suite 200
Portland, OR 97222