It means the lender on the house you made an offer on has to approve your offer. That can take months. Sometimes a year or longer, though 3-6 months is more typical. And it means they can impose various other conditions. And maybe, after waiting 6 months, you'll be told that you have to close in a week or two, or the deal falls through.
The Realtor Code of Ethics doesn't allow me to criticize another Realtor. And, to your agent's credit, she did inform you that it was a short sale. But then she should have followed up with a simple, "Now do you understand what a short sale is?"
Just because you made an offer, even if at the listing price, and the offer was accepted by the seller, there is no guarantee that the lender will â€œapproveâ€ the transaction. That is the â€œsubject to approvalâ€ issue and it is normal. The lender will review your offer, the sellerâ€™s hardship and will put a valuation on the house. The lender will take a lot longer to do that then it took me to write that sentence. If the lender decides all of the elements are in alignment, an approval will be granted. If not, you most likely will get a counter offer from the lender.
Only then with you proceed with your loan approval, appraisal inspections and everything else that goes into closing your purchase.
This is just a brief description of what is normally a long process.
Many buyers do not have the patience for a short sale purchase. Others find that it can be worth their while.
Good luck to you.
Some people are hesitant to tell you all the bad things that could happen; "The Wrost Case Senario"!
You need your eyes wide open and your PATIENCE in fifth gear (or should that be FIRST gear?)
Good luck and may God bless
If you have the time to be patient, you could walk away with a great deal.
For those readers who don't understand, a short sale, by definition, requires the approval of the seller's lender to accept a lower payoff than they're due. So if they owe $200,000 and the sale would only pay off $175,000 of that, the lender would have to agree to accept that, remove their lien from the property, and allow new buyers to start over.
Of course, you can have a situation where the seller owes more than they're going to net, but they can afford to write a check to pay it off, much like you might do when you trade-in a car.
All the best,