Sounds like your REALTOR did his/her job & submitted your offer... the problem is... It's a foreclosure and the Bank/Mortgage Servicing Organization may not have the authority to accept your offer. If the property is owned by Aurora, Citi, Five Brothers, Safeguard, and numerous others, these are loan servicing organizations and they're under no obligation to respond to your offer.
Buying a foreclosure is a time consuming, frustrating, and often futile experience because most foreclosure buyers don't understand the basics. The lenders are obligated to get the highest possible price for the property to protect their shareholders interests and it's quite possible the lender is simply shopping your offer to see if anyone else is willing and able to pay more. It sucks and it's perfectly legal.
Another issue to consider is your "pre-approval" for financing. Foreclosure lenders require a "pre-approval" from your lender of choice to submit with your offer. Look at your "pre-approval" documentation and see if you are approved "subject to normal underwriting" criteria. If this language exists in your documentation you're not "pre-approved". You must demonstrate to the lender that you're in a position to pay "cash" for the property and close in 10-20 days.. period... This is what they look for and if your "pre-approval" is weak, they'll continue to solicit other "better" offers while they keep you dangling.
Have you done your homework on the property you're trying to buy? You can view the Original Deed and Mortgage and the foreclosure documents and any other liens or important recording information online at the Palm Beach County Clerk of the Courts Website. You can view the Property Appraisers documentation online as well and it'll give you much valuable insight into what and whom you are actually dealing with.
Also, beware of terms like "Pre-foreclosure" and "Short Sale" in the listings you're viewing. Just because a property is listed at a "Short Sale" price, doesn't mean that the bank or LSO will actually sell the property at that price.. If you want to be the "best:" buyer for this property, get your loan truly "pre-approved". This means that your lender has actually verified all of the information in your application( employment, income, assets, funds to close, and of course credit) and is prepared to submit your loan for approval. Some local lenders will give you a "Conditional Committment". This means they've done their work and this written committment guarantees they'll fund you subject only to a satisfactory appraisal, survey and clear title to the property you're trying to buy.
I currently deal with 7 of the largest mortgage companies in the nation doing Mortgage Verification/ occupancy verification and pre-foreclosure field inspections and have just started a Real Estate Brokerage Company in Broward and Palm Beach Counties to service the clients we have been doing inspections and property preservation work for to sell off their Real Estate Owned properties. These companies are simply overwhelmed by the sheer volume of defaulted mortgages.. so , my advice to you is don't become personally attached to any "foreclosure" property you're bidding on.. remain detached and objective and understand this is a process, not an event.
You may be successful if you remain patient and do not expect a response to your offer for at least 2-5 weeks.. That's right.. 2-5 weeks on average. Another caution: just because they accept your offer(at some point) doesn't mean that your sale will actually close escrow. There are a myriad of variables that can kill a foreclosure sale so, my advice to you is to actually sit down and READ every document you've signed and will be asked to sign and don't get emotionally involved in this process. It's simply a business transaction and you are a smart business person...keep your options open and be ready to move on to another property if this one doesn't work out.
Buying a foreclosure is a "crap shoot" at best. Beware of terms like "instant equity" or "Save thousands" or any myriad of similar come-ons.. The price you pay for your "Foreclosure" becomes the "top of the market value range" when you are in an area of numerous foreclosures,pre-foreclosures or bank owned properties. The definition of "Market Value" is : The Value at which a willing buyer and willing seller are willing to buy and sell.
Hope this helps and good luck in your quest!
The listing agent should present all offers in a timely manner since here in Florida if you have a listing it is presumed you have a relationship with the owner (the bank in this case).
I am including the Florida Statute where this is codified. Well worth reading when trying to understand the rights and obligations of all parties to a transaction.
From the Statutes:
475.278 Authorized brokerage relationships; presumption of transaction brokerage; required disclosures.--
(1) BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIPS.--
(a) Authorized brokerage relationships.--A real estate licensee in this state may enter into a brokerage relationship as either a transaction broker or as a single agent with potential buyers and sellers. A real estate licensee may not operate as a disclosed or nondisclosed dual agent. As used in this section, the term "dual agent" means a broker who represents as a fiduciary both the prospective buyer and the prospective seller in a real estate transaction. This part does not prevent a licensee from changing from one brokerage relationship to the other as long as the buyer or the seller, or both, gives consent as required by subparagraph (3)(c)2. before the change and the appropriate disclosure of duties as provided in this part is made to the buyer or seller. This part does not require a customer to enter into a brokerage relationship with any real estate licensee.
(b) Presumption of transaction brokerage.--It shall be presumed that all licensees are operating as transaction brokers unless a single agent or no brokerage relationship is established, in writing, with a customer.
(2) TRANSACTION BROKER RELATIONSHIP.--
(a) Transaction broker-duties of limited representation.--A transaction broker provides a limited form of representation to a buyer, a seller, or both in a real estate transaction but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity or as a single agent. The duties of the real estate licensee in this limited form of representation include the following:
1. Dealing honestly and fairly;
2. Accounting for all funds;
3. Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;
4. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer;
5. Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing;
6. Limited confidentiality, unless waived in writing by a party. This limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the seller will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property, that a seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered, or of any other information requested by a party to remain confidential; and
7. Any additional duties that are mutually agreed to with a party.
(b) Disclosure requirements.--Duties of a transaction broker must be fully described and disclosed in writing to a buyer or seller either as a separate and distinct disclosure document or included as part of another document such as a listing agreement or agreement for representation. The disclosure must be made before, or at the time of, entering into a listing agreement or an agreement for representation or before the showing of property, whichever occurs first. When incorporated into other documents, the required notice must be of the same size type, or larger, as other provisions of the document and must be conspicuous in its placement so as to advise customers of the duties of limited representation, except that the first sentence of the information identified in paragraph (c) must be printed in uppercase and bold type. This paragraph expires July 1, 2008.
JD â€œDanâ€ Weisenburger, GRI
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate
The listing broker has to send all offers in a timely manner.
Chief Information Officer
The Keyes Company