Phil Ipjian, Home Buyer in Seal Beach, CA

Waiting for short sale addendum to be signed by seller, 17 days now. How long should I wait?

Asked by Phil Ipjian, Seal Beach, CA Fri Jun 1, 2012

We have been told by our agent that the seller accepted our offer after they made a counter with some contingencies. We agreed and immediately sent back to our account the signed SSA. We were told May 15th that they agreed and that our agent was just waiting for a returned signed SSA. Without this it is obvious to me that we have nothing. Any suggestions as to how I should proceed? I realize the seller in a short sale can terminate the process at any time, but how can I determine if they are just using me to stay longer in there home?

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Bob Phillips, Agent, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
Emily, I think you've overstepped a few boundaries, in that you APPEAR to be offering some VERY specific transactional ADVICE. It is - in my humble opinion - not your position to be making such specific comments on a public forum.

Beyond that, it ALSO appears that you're actually soliciting another Realtor's client.

If I were you - if you are able to - I would strongly consider either deleting your post entirely, or at the very least, toning it down a tad.

Of course, if it's really TRUE, that you don't check back into this thread, ( what kind of baloney is THAT? ) you might never get to read this post.
2 votes
Brian Wilson, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
Hello Phil,

Even though the seller accepted your offer what, if anything, have you heard from the true seller, the bank? Have you been asked any questions about part of your social security number or birth date? These are entered into a system called Equator and is used by the banks to track the progress of the sale. Your agent will not have access to this but the listing agent should. (Not all banks use this system but typically larger ones do).

Ask yourself if you are you a good candidate to be a short sale buyer? Have you and your Realtor talked about the time needed? Do you know if the sellers have other liens against the house like a second mortgage that also has to agree to the short sale? Are the HOA dues and property taxes current? More problems typically means slower acceptance.

It sounds like you are just at the very beginning stages of a short sale and I would advise you to keep looking for other houses and not get your hopes up and focus on this one house. Inventory is low and you want to be open to other houses that may come up and may not be a short sale. Based on what you stated I doubt you are in escrow yet, ask more questions of your agent, do you have an escrow number?.

If you wanted to cancel you can easily send something, an addendum, to the listing agent in writing saying you rescind your offer made on date... You really don't have anything with a short sale until you get the written approval from the bank with your names written in it. Remember that written approval you receive may not be the same as the offer you wrote and thought was agreed on already. Look it over and then you can really decide if you want to go forward or not. This is part of what the SSA does for you, it starts your time and state when monies are due to escrow.

Even if you were to send an addendum to cancel the listing agent may not officially inform the bank since as long as they are working on an offer they are more likely to postpone the auction date of the property. I hate to tell you but your offer will be used to stall the sale regardless.

Good luck with your search,
Brian Wilson, Realtor
DRE# 01321478
1 vote
Birgit O'hea…, , Orange County, CA
Sat Jun 16, 2012
Hi Phil,

Congratulations! Wishing you all the best on the purchase!

Warmest Regards,

Birgit O'Hearn
Windernere Real Estate SoCal
0 votes
Phil Ipjian, Home Buyer, Seal Beach, CA
Sat Jun 16, 2012
FOLLOW UP - We have received the signed contracts and as of June 16th we have moved on the the next step of waiting... waiting on the bank. Some progress is better than none.
0 votes
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Hello Phil,

First of all the seller can not use you to stay in their home longer. In order to get a SS approval letter from their bank, they have to submitt a fully executed purchase agreemnet along with their short sale package. So it is in their best interest you get everything signed ASAP and sent to the bank.

Did your agent submitt the SS addendum with the initail offer? Perhaps the seller has accepted another offer to submitt to the bank. I can not imagine why they would not get the addendum signed if your offer is the offer they have accepted.

Is there more than one seller? You are correct ,at this point you do not have a fully executed purchase agreement, you do not have a contract.

Best of luck You!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Karen Parsons…, Agent, Laguna Beach, CA
Mon Jun 4, 2012
Hi Phil,

What is your agent doing about this? After this amount of time, I think a "Notice to Perform" makes sense. If they have signed everything could be laziness, but I think it's a real red flag. Your agent needs to get going and complete the paperwork.

Now since it's a short sale, this should not be holding up short sale approval....lenders typically need just the offer to work on the short sale terms. If you have an open escrow with a cashed deposit check, then you are probably fine and this is just a lazy agent on the other end. But it's your agent's responsibility to get this back to you...keep on it.

Good luck with this and let us all know?

0 votes
Libardo Quin…, , Newport Beach, CA
Sun Jun 3, 2012
Good morning Phil,
Once you sign a counter offer and agree on contingencies, you acceptance can not take to long. check with your realtor (tell him/her to be more pro-active) and make multiple offers.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sun Jun 3, 2012
Brian Wilson, Agent, Dana Point, CA - has provided you incredible advise. Read it again slowly.

Short Sales, also know as the "Wild, Wild, West of Real Estate" is not suitable for everyone. Only the extremely patient, those capable of enduring unrelenting abuse, who will not suffer emotional loss through the process, realize reason and logic are not welcome guests, and have no concern for the eventual outcome, should consider short sales as an option.

Unfortunately, due to shrinking traditional inventory, many buyers seem to be FORCED into this option without understanding exactly what it is for which they have VOLUNTEERED.

If you are looking to the cloud of voices on the internet to provide the guidance you should be getting from your professional, perhaps there are other issues in play. From my experience, what is in play is the buyer did not believe their agent when the agent advised, "Buckle up, we're in for a wild ride."

And this is just the beginning. Read again what Brian has posted. Realize, as the buyer you are the least influential party in this process. Try to relax and let the pro's do what they have been doing in this arena for the past four years. It's not easy being a spectator in, for some, the largest single investment of a lifetime.

Best of success in acquiring your new home.

NOTE: Not Baloney - I remove the check for the box preceding "Follow this question."
Your statement, Bob, what 100 percent accurate.
0 votes
Hello Annette, thanks for your kind words. All the best.
Flag Mon Jun 4, 2012
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Jun 3, 2012
17 days without a SSA after a verbal agreement should be viewed as a serious "red flag."

Have they offered any explanation? Are they waiting on an attorney relative to short sale proceedings? It's unreasonable and unprofessional to leave a serious buyer hanging without some sort of explanation.

If you are still interested, consider informing the listing agent that your verbal agreement remains in effect only until you find another home that is suitable to your needs and wish to make a run at it.

Assuming this seller is going to move on this offer may be expecting a lot.....keep looking.

Good luck,

0 votes
Birgit O'hea…, , Orange County, CA
Sun Jun 3, 2012
Hi Phil,

You've raised numerous concerns that are troubling you. I strongly recommend that you share and discuss them with your agent; your agent represents you and has your best interests at heart.

Some things you might consider asking/clarifying with your agent include:
1. How much time did you give the seller to sign the Residential Purchase Agreement? Is there a reasonable explanation for why thet haven't signed and returned it yet. What will your agent do if they don't submit the signed RPA to you?
2. Has the bank filed a Notice of Deficiency?
3. How many loans does the homeowner have on the property? Are there any liens against the property?
4. Has the homeowner contacted their Lender/s regarding the short sale, have they submitted the packet yet, and if so, what is the disposition?
5. Has your offer been submitted to the bank yet, or when will it be submitted to the bank. Is a short sale negotiator being used and who is paying for it?

I'm certain that your agent has discussed the short sale process with you and that you understand that the homeowners still owns the property. Your agent has most likely told you that escrow will not start until the bank approves your offer and there is no telling how long that may take. New legislation went into effect on 6-1-12 that addresses timely response from lenders that may or may apply to your offer.

My guess is that once you talk to your Ageny, and get answer to these questions and others that you have, you will have a better understanding of the status of your offer and a greater understanding of your agents plans in representing you. Never hesitate to contact your agent to ask questions, they are there to assist you.

Warmest Regards,

Birgit O'Hearn
Windermere Real Estate SoCal
0 votes
David Pham, Agent, Garden Grove, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
It sounds like you are in early stage of the short sale. As others mentioned, the short sale lender(s) have more power on short sale transactions. SSA is more or less a disclosure.

Short sale buyers should be, in general, very patient. If you don't have much time, try to look for REO, standard sales, or approved short sales. It is very common that lenders take several month to approve a transaction. The worst case, however, is that the sellers change their mind not to sign required documents such as grant deed and/or final HUD. It is a total mess when that happens. The lender may end up foreclosure that property.

Good luck house hunting,

David Pham
National Brokers
0 votes
Bill Smith, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
Your agent should contact his broker and discuss your situation. The broker will make recommendations on your behalf. Also, you may consider making offers on other short sale homes.
Best of luck,
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
Well, it may be a good thing you don't have that form back yet. Check yours & cross out item # 6 ii & iii where it states that the seller CAN submit other back up offers directly to the short sale lien holder OVER YOURS!

Technically, even without the SSA you still do have an accepted purchase contract. The BIGGEST reason to light the fire under the seller's butt is by stating that "We need to get moving on this Right Now, so we can ensure we have an approval & are CLOSED prior to the end of this year when the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act expires!" (Assuming this is the owner's primary residence or can be claimed as such in 2 of the last 5yrs)

Shoot me an email directly if you'd like to talk to me some more. I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.

P.S. I'm in the Seal Beach area & if you'd like I can investigate the owner to check for Red Flags (i.e. large equity loans) & also check out the listing agent to see that he/she has a high success rate at closing short sales over the past 5-6yrs.
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
Short Sale Expert - I can PROVE IT!
0 votes
The expiration of the mortgage forgiveness act won't effect most California homeowners as we do not use a mortgage system in this state. Income from relief of debt arises only when there was personal liability; with a trust deed, the only security is the property itself. No personal relief = no tax consequences.
Flag Fri Jul 5, 2013
Jeremy Lehman, Agent, Garden Grove, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
The SSA (short sale addendum) is not critical to confirm a short sale purchase. The executed Purchase Agreement (RPA) and counter offers are. Do you have signed copies? If the sellers have accepted your offer, you're good to go. If the listing agent isn't responding to your agents communications, that would trouble me. There is nothing that prohibits a seller from terminating, and unfortunately, the listing agent is critical to this transaction. No communication can sometimes be a stalling technique or worse yet, an agent that isn't engaged in the transaction (not working with their client closely or has given up).

Another thing to consider is, is your agent really trying to communicate properly? Texts and emails don't cut it. They need to call the agent or even visit the agents office. If that doesn't work, contact the manager or broker of the listing office to confirm.

Is that helpful?
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
As far as the Real Estate portion of the question goes;
While the HOMEOWNER can affect the Shortsale, it is the Bank that really owns the property;

You can, through your Realtor, give them a NOTICE TO PERFORM, with a copy to the Bank.
Communicate with the Listing Agent; they want this to go through too.

If you really belive that they are bleeding this for all its worth,
it becomes a LEGAL problem,
and you can either contact a Real Estate Attorney,
or CANCEL the whole deal and wait for the house to be foreclosed.

This is one of the pitfalls of a Shortsale.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
Ron - The Bank does NOT OWN the property until it's been foreclosed upon or a Deed i Lieu has been effected. In a Short Sale, the Lender is merely a contingency of closing the transaction.
Flag Fri Jun 1, 2012
Thom Colby, Agent, Irvine, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
Sit down with your agent and ask for a status. Only your agent can help you.
0 votes
I have tried that and all I am being told is that he is trying to get the signed SSA. I have to assume at this point there is some issue, but he has indicated to me that he is trying to find a balance so that he does not "PISS OFF" the seller's agent.
Flag Fri Jun 1, 2012
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