If you don't have your own agent, you need to get one asap to write your offer for you and look out for your best interest throughout the transaction. When buying real estate in our area, the buyer doesn't pay the realtors involved in the transaction, the seller pays for both realtors, the agent who brings the buyer and the agent who puts the sign in the yard. Your realtor is free to you so why not have someone on your side, looking out for you and family? You need your own representation. From what you have explained so far, I would surmise that the best question to be answered right now is, can your lender, the bank whom you are getting your purchase loan from, close escrow in 21 days. That's a very quick loan processing time for this tight lending market. If you are doing FHA financing to buy a home, I would be shocked if 21 days would be a long enough escrow as well. It depends highly upon what type of financing you are doing, not just how long it might take the sellers bank to approve the short sale to you. Your offer on any property, depending on the circumstances of the sale, needs to be written in a way that protects you and most importantly, your deposit. Kind regards.