Profile picture for 151george

Seller+Agent accepted the offer but wont sign contract

I made a written offer with deposit check with the listing/seller's agent on a short sale on July 7 '11.  As yet the seller or the listing agent have yet to get me a copy of contract back w/the seller's signature. Many repeated request to listing agent for an update have fallen on deaf ears.

Here is the latest email exchange with the agent:

9/14 Me: "...what the heck is going with the seller" (with regards to signing the contract and returning my copy)

9/15 Listing Realtor:"The seller is still waiting answer from the bank.
They left message so many times but still waiting."

9/15 Me:"In a short sale it's the realtor or the realty's attorney deals with the bank.  So how come (...) RE is not involved?"

9/16 Realtor: "Because the seller has not signed on the contract yet."

9/16 Me: "huh! then tell the seller to sign the contract. That's what i am been wanting for 2 months now."

Realtor has Not responded since 9/16.

I dont have a buyer's agent; love this home; Listing agent has taken the property off the market; Broker/Owner of the RE defers me to her listing agent.. is of NO help.

What is going on here... Is the seller using my offer to re-mod his loan or any similar scheme? Somebody please help!!
  • September 23 2011 - Lake Butler
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Answers (15)

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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Short sales have to get permission from the seller and the lenders. Some short sales have taken over a year to get a "no" reply to an offer.

The seller could be trying to use this time to get a loan modification. They could be away on vacation. They could be confused on what to do.

Short sales simply are not fun to make offers on.
  • September 23 2011
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The reason they are still waiting for a response from BoA is because there is no signed contract.  BoA will not look at the entire file, nor will they progress the short sale to 'negotiation' phase until the contract is fully executed.

Sounds like the Listing Agent doesn't understand the short sale process.

Move on from here.

  • September 26 2011
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I have seen this recently on some short sales. The agent will respond with "we are waiting to hear from the bank." why? the bank doesn't own the home, get the seller to sign the offer, and send it to the bank...

Anyways, I'd move on and look at other homes. There is never a last or a best home. Did your offer have a deadline for acceptance on it? If that has passed, you have no commitment here whatsoever, so if they call you back at some point fine, but for now I would pursue other options. 
  • September 24 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"I suggest you get a realtor and have them approach the seller..."

Boy, that sounds like a scary idea. I don't think that the "listing" agent would like that very much. What if it is a valid listing? THat would seem to muck things up. You do need an answer for this agent now or I would withdraw your offer and submit one to the owner with another agent.
  • September 24 2011
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this listig agent may not even have the listing! I suggest you get a realtor and have them approach the seller...

A seller is not allowed to represent themself in a short sale, FSBO, they must have an agent or attorney...

and if you don't have a signed contract, you DO NOT have a contract, and there was an expiration date, which I feel is most likely void by now..
  • September 24 2011
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Profile picture for Liz Piedra
Unfortunately without an executed contract you have nothing.  If the listing agent is not responding to you, my recommendation is to call his/her broker to look into this matter for you.  You need to have an executed contract, which of course will be pending 3rd party approval.  All this does is assures you that other offers are not presented to the bank.

Also I would ask who is negotiating with the bank, many title companies through attornies are handling this and from my experience it is expediting the short sale approval process.  Unfortunately many agents are not familiar with the short sale process, therefore if that is the case here, you are just dealing with agents that don't know or understand the process.

Good Luck!
  • September 24 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
I don't like the fact that the broker is not stepping in and that the agent is not responding at all. I think that your instincts about the seller using your offer for other purposes may be right, but there's nothing you can do about it if that's the case.

You may want to see if you can get some outside help to get a signed copy of the contract from the commission in FL here. Before you do that, I would tell the broker that you understand that short sales must be approved by the bank and that you are willing to be patient, but that you want a signed contract. If they do not respond, I would ask the commission for help.
  • September 24 2011
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Profile picture for 151george
No sheriff sale, or anything like that... it's a short sale w/BoA loan. Seller has accepted verbal offer but has yet to return the copy of signed contract back to me (buyer) 70 days later. Again, I'm not talking about bank approval that can take 6-12mos, forever... I'm talking about seller NOT returning the signed contract back and according to the listing/sellers agent, the seller is trying work directly with the bank instead of the realty helping with SS process. Per sellers agent, his agency cannot get involved until the seller sign contract. This sounds fishy... Shouldn't the realtor push seller to sign? else they get spiffed if the bank re-mods selle loan. /the_country_hick, is correct. The seller may be using my offer to re-mod his loan. Else why would the seller not let the agency deal w/SS? Thank you all for you responses.
  • September 24 2011
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
This is a prime example of one of the pitfalls of using the listing agent as your advocate for the purchase.
Good luck.
  • September 24 2011
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"really fed up" has the right answer.

I can only guess at different senarios...none of which are good.
 
The only thing that I am sure of is that you are not in the running for this property.

Go to the NAEABA.ORG to learn your buying options, find an exclusive buyers agent and move on to another property.
  • September 24 2011
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Profile picture for Mevin Barnes
It sounds as if you understand the importance of having a signed contract so I won't dwell on that.  Instead I am going to encourage you to consider moving on.  There is absolutely no reason it should take two months to get a signature.  I would make one last call to the Broker and Agent and informed them if you do not have a signed contract within X days, you will begin your search for another home.  If this doesn't yield any results then take it as a sign this home isn't meant for you.

So Sorry
  • September 24 2011
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Who is representing you? The sellers agent acting as a dual agent? Or are you completely unrepresented by a broker? While I do not have all of your details, based on what you shared, the seller and broker/agent can send you a signed accepted contract...however it is subject to the bank's short sale approval. In CA we have a separate short sale addendum. Hope this helps. Otherwise you may want to talk again to the broker or their local  REALTOR(R) Association.
  • September 24 2011
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Profile picture for Reallyfedup
A little bit of confusion here. We dont' have all the info., so it's a little hard to answer. Are you talking about the seller signing your offer or bank approval of the contract?

In a short sale, the seller is still the owner of the property, and your offer is between the seller and you. You need to have a signed contract between you and the seller and then it goes to the bank subject to bank approval. The bank approval is a contingency to the offer.  You should have had a signed contract from the seller within days of your offer.

If you are waiting on bank approval, then that would make sense.  It could take 3 or 4 months before you hear back from the bank.  The banks don't keep the agents informed on a regular basis.  It's a wait and wait process. 

My other concern is that you say the agents Broker is deferring you back to the agent.  The Broker should be stepping in at this point and getting you an answer as to whether you have a signed contract pending bank approval or no contract at all. 


  • September 23 2011
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Sounds like you should have employed a buyers agent
  • September 23 2011
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Did they cash your check? That might be a sign that the offer was accepted (check with an attorney).

Has there been a Sheriff's sale? Is the property in the redemption period? The seller may be doing just what you are suggesting ... wanting to modify his loan just slightly higher than you are offering. You can always wait until the house is foreclosed and buy from the bank ... maybe for less than you are offering now. Or you can move on and look for another house. It is ashame the agent and his broker aren't giving you answers or assistance ... drop them and work with another realtor, perhaps a buyers agent!
  • September 23 2011
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