Short sale bid ignored, property sold to other party - is this right?

Asked by Johngreenink, Allston, MA Tue Sep 29, 2009

The property for which I'd put in a bid was rather mysteriously taken under agreement this weekend with a different buyer. The property is now off the market and my two months waiting was pretty much for nothing. My realtor sent a strongly worded email to the listing agent/representative, but this doesn't accomplish anything.

I had bid more than the asking price - I thought that negotiations were supposed to go on, or at least, I should have been informed about the status of my bid. Wow, this is VERY confusing, does anyone have some input as to what to expect? Is this common practice to be left hanging for so long, only to be told that the transaction has already occurred? Should my realtor have been more proactive here?
Is it possible that you can put in a bid, get no response for 2 months, and then be told that the property has sold? I'm just shocked that we weren't asked about our bid and our willingness to change the bid. Does this happen regularly?

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5’s answer, , Boston, MA
Tue Sep 29, 2009
Hi John,

All good points are made by my fellow brokers.

Keep in mind that the short sale format puts the buyer at a huge disadvantage.
For example: Most say sold as is and must be approved by a third party and no changes are allowed to the P& S that they prepare. Which I think is technically illegal. Based on all contracts are supposed to be bi-lateral, meaning you have the right to ask for things to be added/deleted and the seller has the same.

In a normal transaction you and the seller have those give and take exchanges.

It is simply not an environment I would like to do business in. You wait for months all for nothing.

It is kind of like you have to totally commit to the selling party and you have to wait around for months and they still have the right to tell you to get lost.

Look for a real deal, not bank owned.
You would have had your property by now.
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Susan Costa, , Westport, MA
Tue Sep 29, 2009

Sorry to hear your experience. Your agent can make a formal complaint against the isting agent this would be in the form of an ethics violation - field with the MA Realtor. You can make a complaint as well.

Here is the scoop - If the listing realtor found a buyer on his own - (NO BUYERS AGENT) he gets to keep 100% of the commission. Even if your offer was better. We would like to believe that all realtors are ethical but, not is not always the case. The other issue maybe that the accepted offer may have had a better down payment or a stronger credit history. It's hard to tell when there is no forthcoming infomation from the listing agent.
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Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Tue Sep 29, 2009
One reason why people like buying & selling real estate through real estate professionals is there is a standard of pratice & some basic ground rules that all offers follow to some extent. The MLS (multiple listing service) is a powerful tool for marketing properties and the banks/lenders know this, that's one reason why they list with real estate professionals, to get the most exposure for their properties. Unfortunatly most similarities with regular sales ends there. The banks enforce operating by their own guidelines & covenants on the listing agents they contract with under sometimes diffucult contract terms. Sometimes you have listing agents that don't have the support systems to properly handle these non-traditional sales and get overwhelmed with the work load these sales present.

You are right that there isn't much that your agent can do more than a strongly worded letter, there could be a multitude of reasons why your offer wasn't responded to. Was the amount listed for the amount the lender approved? Any less than that and the lender doesn't have to reply, if you're lucky you get a reply that's their bottom line and you have to be prepared to accept those terms or they will move on to the next offer without warning. The lenders are also looking for the best terms, and the best qualified buyer with the highest liklihood of closing quickly. It's not of much condolence but the short sale are some of the most challenging sales out there, especially if you are trying to coordinate multiple sales to get to purchase. There are chances you might have been one of multiple offers they considered or had on hold to review. The lender crafts their listing agreements for bank owned and terms for short sale acceptance mainly in their favor and without changes to simplify everything for their benefit. You might check to see who represented the buyer for the property when it closes and what were the terms and price of the actual sale. You may never know what exactly happened though.

Good luck in your search,
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Michael Giles, Agent, Beverly, MA
Tue Sep 29, 2009
Hi John,
Unfortunately, yes this does happen often and not all agents handle short sales the same way. I wrote a blog on this recently…

There are some red flags to look for as a buyer that may give you a better success rate. They are almost impossible to bullet proof. But a Listing Agent that doesn't communicate is never a good sign.

Having a professional negotiator to work with the bank is a huge advantage. This is all that these people do and they have the systems in place make the process easier. Best of Luck!
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Joe Salcedo, , San Jose, CA
Tue Sep 29, 2009
Good Morning,

I think something wrong in this transaction may the agent did not follow up
the offer especially this is Short Sale . When you submit the offer the
other agent he should tell you that offer was forwarded to the lender/Bank so
that you know exactly what is going on.. This lack of communication that is why you
did not get the offer. And the other hand also some agent are trying to double
end the transaction. or may be the listing is below the market value that why
you did not get the offer and sold it to samebody else.
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