What can we do to move this short sale along? We have an accepted offer from the owners but not the negotiator

Asked by Maureen Dodge, Santa Rosa, CA Wed Dec 31, 2008

The listing agent on the house we want is a short sale and finally has put us in contract after waiting for two and a half months. According to our Realtor she has accepted our offer but she still hasn't got a okay from the negotiator from the bank. There is a contingent showing now that its base on if we still want the house. Is this a tactic from the listing agent to keep us hanging? Our lender is ready to go forward with this also. Is there anything we can do to push this done?

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Deborah Byrne, Agent,
Thu Aug 27, 2009
To piggyback on Shannon's response, I would only add that the process can be difficult or easy depending on which bank is the lienholder, and whether there are one or two mortgages. Some banks are very easy and accommodating, and others are darn near impossible to work with. If you are getting weekly updates and see progress, albeit slow and incremental, then you know someone is at least working on it. If there is no communication and no response, then you might indeed need to move on. Good luck!
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Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Thu Feb 12, 2009
Maureen, I don't like "Short-Sales" (SS) for the reasons mentioned in your query. The average time on the market for a "Short-Sale" in Sonoma County is 6 months! They usually sell for a higher median than an REO (Real Estate Owned or foreclosed property).
There is a 8 months supply of SS and a 2 months supply of REO's!
Average Days on the Market (DOM) for SS 181 days, REO's 78!
Median Selling price of a SS-$305,000, an REO: $257,000!!
Don't be seduced by the siren's song of the "Short-Sales" as this great deal machine. It's bunk! If you love frustration, love to have your calls eventually NOT returned, like the "big-stall", like to see your low interest rate lock come and go and come and go, and are a sucker for Frustration, then by all means, keep on doing what you're doing. Folks who fall into the SS pit usually are frustrated by being beat out on the REO multiple offer scenario. But ask yourself this--why is everyone putting offers on REO's and avoiding short-sales like the plague?
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Shannon Doyle, , Windsor, CA
Wed Dec 31, 2008
Hi Maureen,

I know the process of waiting for short sale approval can be pretty tiresome and frustrating. I just had an offer that we waited 2 1/2 months for an answer and my buyer was also getting tired of waiting. Unfortunately, it's sometimes just part of the process. Through experience, I have learned that certain listing agents are better at negotiating and pushing the banks along than others. I try to steer my buyers to look at those lisitngs when possible. Patience can pay off if you really love the property or feel that you are getting a good price. But you should know that with short sales, there is never a guarantee. You may wait a long time, and the bank may come back with a higher price or decide not to cooperate with the short sale and just foreclose on the home. The home should be listed as "contingent-show". This lets other potential buyers know that you have an accepted offer with the seller and is actually to your advantage as there will be less activity with showings of that property and you are less likely to get "bumped" by another offer. Everything you are describing sounds pretty typical for a short sale offer.

If you are feeling ready to move on, that may be what you need to do. Otherwise, about all you can do is communicate with your agent and have them do their best to push the listing agent. There are plenty of properties out there, and you may be able to get into something else a lot faster. It just depends on what you want and how quickly you want to buy a home. Best of luck with your home purchase and please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Happy New Year!
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