My husband and I listed our house as a short sale in October 2008. Within the first day we had two offers.

Asked by Kathryn, Folsom, CA Tue Feb 3, 2009

The reason for the short sale was due to a pending divorce. We are now having second thoughts about selling the home, and want to keep it. We've talked to our lender (B of A) about loan modification, and they are willing to work with us. We'd like to stay in the house. We are considering reconciling. The bank is saying they won't be responding to any submitted offers for another 30-45 days due to their backlog. So even though we have two offers on the property, no response by the bank has been given (it's been 3 months). We have signed nothing except the listing agreement with our agent. Can we back out? I'm assuming we can since we haven't signed anything yet and the bank hasn't even reviewed our short sale package and most likely won't for another month or two. Any recommendations on how to proceed? I haven't read our contract to see about cancellation fees with our agent, which I'm sure he'll expect something after 3 months. Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated!

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue Feb 3, 2009
I would review your listing contract, most do not have fees in order to withdraw your house as long as it is not relisted during the period that remains. The offers shopuld have had expiratio9n dates on them and not have been left open, usually you should have signed them and forwarded them to the bank with a clause or addendum that the sale is contingent upon approval by the lender for a short sale. At this point make sure everything is in writing, good luck with working things out.
Web Reference:
1 vote
Cel Durant, Agent, Roseville, CA
Tue Feb 3, 2009
Dear Kathryn,

You should be able to withdraw your listing and not owe your realtor anything. The realtor usually only gets paid when the sale goes through. Quite often things don't work out for one reason or another and that is part of the real estate business. Real estate professionals are used to this and should handle it for you with no problem. If the agent gives you any problems, you can always speak with the broker of the agency they work for. As for the buyers, their offers were always contingent on the bank's acceptance which you never received so you should be able to cancel. If you never signed the purchase contract you were never in a contract to begin with. Good luck to you and I hope you can keep your home.
Web Reference:
1 vote
Anna Niklarz, Agent, Arlington Heights, IL
Tue Feb 3, 2009
HI Kathryn,
Since you did not accept any of the offers you are not obligated to sell your property. Call your agent and explain the situation, meaning, that you are no longer considering a short sale and looking to modify and stay in the property. Good agent will understand and hope you'll call them back when you decide to sell in the future.
Good Luck!
1 vote
Sue Archer R…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Tue Feb 3, 2009
It's nice to hear good news! Congratulations on being able to consider reconciling, and also keeping your home.

Your isting agreement will specify the terms of your agreement with your listing agent, but in most cases (if it's the standard agreement) your agent is compensated at the time of closing. While it would be nice to compensate them for any expense that they incurred in attempting to sell your house, I don't believe you are obligated under the contract.

Listing agreements expire within a specified period, normally 3-6 months, and then is renewed if no sale has occurred by then. Others have an 'easy exit' clause where you can cancel at any time if you are not satisfied wtih a 24 hour written notice. But that is to protect the agent, who has incurred expenses in the process of marketing your home, from being pushed out and you selling your home on your own or with another agent. Most would be willing to cancel the agreement should you decide to stay in your home.

Read the contract. That will give you your answer.
Web Reference:
1 vote
Mechelle Rea…, Agent, Folsom, CA
Tue Feb 3, 2009

I would review your contract with your listing agent. Then give your listing agent a call and explain the situation. Most agents are understanding and know that things can change. They will want to call the buyers and let them know that you are probably going to take your home off the market. The chances are good that the buyers have been continuing to look for other homes anyway. In this market short sales are not a sure thing.

Mechelle Gooch
1 vote
Erin Newingt…, Agent, Elk Grove, CA
Tue Feb 3, 2009
I would suspect that the offers that were submitted to your lender have expired and are no longer valid. Talk to your Realtor about this! I am sure they want you to keep your home as much as you do! I hope everything work out for you!
1 vote
Karen and Ni…, , Folsom, CA
Wed Feb 4, 2009
It is probably a good bet that the buyer's have moved on and are aware that short sales are not a sure thing.
It is advisable that you speak with your agent and discuss the listing agreement. Given the fact that the bank may take over 60 days to respond to the offers and you have second thoughts about selling your home, your agent should be willing to let you out of your contract.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more