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Short sale...but something seems "off"

We submitted an offer on a short sale in August of last year.  The offer was accepted by the home owners in September of last year.  It is now January and we still have not received lender approval.  The seller's agent claims she has to resubmit the paperwork into the Equator system everytime we ask any questions.  This is now the 3-4 time our paperwork has been resubmitted.  Supposedly the case was assigned to a negotiator 3 months ago but we've not heard anything on that front either.  Then this morning while browsing homebuying sites I noticed that the price had been reduced 20K despite our recent appraisal of the home at 6,000 more than we offered.

I'm beginning to think our offer was declined but instead of telling us that the agents just keep resubmitting the paperwork to make it look like it's only a matter of time.  Is it normal for the price to drop on a shortsale and the potential buyers not be informed?  Is it normal to have to resubmitting the same paperwork into the Equator system?

I think we're being played for stupid right now but since this is our first time we don't really know.
  • January 17 2013 - US
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Answers (19)

While every lender is different, I recently gained bank approval on a short sale listing of mine well within 30 days of contract.  I had originated the file on Equator at the time of listing so much of the ground work, including appraisal was done ahead of the offer.

The Equator system is extremely efficient! 

  • January 19 2013
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Profile picture for GarryLuttrell

We have been in the a short sale deal we want to buy. We went in with both eyes open. Knowing that they aren't short by any means.. In Aug 2012 we put an offer in on a house we just heard this week that it is a go... Good for us not so fast they (Owen) whats to close but 2-1-2013 that right 13 days. The sellers broker and our is saying we won't make that closing date! I am just wondering what will happen if we don't make the date.

  • January 19 2013
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On a Short Sale transaction "follow up" is extremely important.Most possibly the realtor who listed it have not completed the paperwork diligently and or the seller did not cooperate in turning in all necessary paperwork. Also your agent must not be following the transaction closely. It takes us, certified and trained professionals only 65 days to process one.
Push your agent to follow it up closely. 
  • January 19 2013
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Profile picture for user8508293
Our threat to walk away has brought some things into the light, unfortunately I'm not at liberty to share.  Basically we may be getting this house now for 25000 less.  We'll give it 60 days but keep looking for something else and we will see what happens.

Thanks for all the advice.
  • January 19 2013
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The listing agent in a short sale can put any sale price to the property.  The one that have to accepted or rejected is the Bank or the Financial institution that holds that mortgage.  Or may be the seller is not cooperating 100 percent with the bank and that is the reason that have to resubmitt the offer so many times. Either way, just make an appt. with the agent's broker and see what are you standing up with this case. 
Maria Cipollone
  • January 18 2013
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Regardless of all comments it appears you have either an inexperienced or incompetent agent. Even worse, an unethical one. Please, even if you are walking away, contact this agent's Broker and express your dis-satisfaction. People like this give us a bad name.
  • January 17 2013
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As an Agent that does quite a few Short Sales, I will tell you the process is not Short.  Resubmitting paperwork is common.  Sometimes a seller has 2 or 3 loans and even if it is the same lender, it is likely a different division and different process.  I can also say that right now I have 3 Short Sales going on with the same bank and the process is NOT the same - each Negotiator has their own style. Some are good and some are just downright bad. All are within the Equator System, which I am very familiar. 

With all that said, I am wondering if the Listing Agent is also representing you as a Buyer?  I cannot answer the question as to the price drop, but I do believe that some of the sites that consolidate listings from the MLS, do not have a category for what we call "Short Sale Pending", so the listing still shows as active.  With the SSP status, it can technically still be marketed for back up offers, but is clear to the buyer upfront that there is an accepted offer in the queue ahead of them.

Hang in there, but keep looking for your dream home so you do not miss other opportunities as they come up.  Hopefully, you have a good Buyers Agent representing your best interests.
  • January 17 2013
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Just based on the limited information we see here, you are making the right decision. Any agent who can't be bothered to explain a legal document before asking a client to sign it, is simply  a bad agent. Before you take a look at anything else, you might want to interview a few agents and find one that will work FOR you. Good luck.

  • January 17 2013
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Profile picture for user8508293
We have a buyer's agent, she is the one who never seems to know wha is going on and will disappear.  If she sends us a form to sign and we ask her ot explain sections she gets upset and tells us to "let her do her job" and she "knows what she's doing" so we just need to sign it and do what she says.  Things disintegrated to such a point that we had to start dealing directly with the seller's agent.

I consulted another agent regarding our issues and based on her information we have decided to walk away.  We've given the bank until Tuesday to approve (and I doubt they will) so we are requesting our earnest money back, dropping our current agent and moving on.
  • January 17 2013
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Profile picture for Jason Bolyard
The Equator system will close a file if the requested task is not completed within the time frame the lender has given.  This could be the reason the agent keeps resubmitting the paperwork.  It sounds like the agent you are using is also the listing agent.  The reason I say that is because it is the listing agent who will have access to Equator, not the buyers agent.  The Listing agent submits the documentation into Equator and even completes the tasks.  If your agent is not representing both sides then someone is not giving you the whole story.

Also, keep in mind that prices on short sales in the MLS are set by the listing agent and seller.  There would be no reason a listing agent or seller would drop a price if you have an accepted offer.  The house should not even continue being marketed if the seller has accepted your offer.  Keep in mind they can switch the status to backups wanted and on most sites like Realtor.com and Trulia they will still show up as active.
  • January 17 2013
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
My suggesting is for you to get a buyer agent who is experienced with short sales.  Something is not right.
  • January 17 2013
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Profile picture for tricia v
Do you have a buyers agent? or are you working directly with the selling agent?  I would double check with the selling agents broker.  However short sales are very complicated and the Equator system can be very frustrating to an agent who is not familiar with using it.  If the agent misses one of the deadlines for any reason, the system automatically kicks the short sale out and then the agent has to start all over again with the paperwork and get a new negotiator.  Remember short sales are an animal of their own and the rules that apply with a normal sale....do not carry over on a short sale.  I would suggest you keep your options open and continue to comb the market for other opportunities because a short sale is never a guaranteed sale!
  • January 17 2013
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You simply MUST call your agent's broker, if for no other reason than her behavior.
  • January 17 2013
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This is the up hill battle that professional, honest, real estate agents face.  There are too many bad seeds that make our industry look like a bunch of fools.  I know of a few 8 year olds who throw their pretend phones.  Yelling gets nothing accomplished as well and has NO place in business.  I'm sorry you have to deal with a crummy agent...  That being said I cannot emphasize how much of a pain the short sale process can be.  Yes you might save 10, 20 maybe 50k off the fair market value but you pay for it in long acceptance times and other banking red tape.  I would follow Mr. Stewarts advice and talk to the managing broker,  express all your concerns and go from there.  This unfortunate story goes to show how important it is to interview and find the right match for your agent.  You will be working with this person for a long time and trusting them with the one of the biggest investments in your life.  Good luck and best wishes!

  • January 17 2013
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The time frames are not unusual but I wonder what questions you are4 asking that need to be sent on to the lender. Generally, the best policy with a short sale is just to wait for the approval to come through before raising any questions. Unless you are just asking for an update of course, in which case nothing would ned to be re-submitted to Equator.

It sounds like both agents may lack short sale experience here.
  • January 17 2013
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
Too many details that we don't know and you can't possibly fill us in on for us to make any reasonable suggestions.  The time frames do not sound unreasonable depending on how many loans there are against the home.

If you are not happy with the responses that you are getting from your agent, go to their managing broker.  That person is in every office and is ultimately responsible for every transaction that goes through the office. They typically have the combined experience of every agent in the office and so should be able to guide your agent if there is any uncertainty.
  • January 17 2013
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I suggest that you contact your real estate agent's broker for assistance ASAP.
  • January 17 2013
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Our agent unfortunately is a nightmare.  Someone recommended her to us and we found the short sale about the same time we were trying her out.  We loved the house so we went for it only to go thru heck and back with our agent.  She yells, throws her phone, ignores calls and will not answer questions.  We get nothing from her.  More often than not we'll find out something has changed before she does.
  • January 17 2013
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I think you need to sit down with your agent and express your concerns. Although short sales do take a while, there have been changes and offers do have to be addressed by the bank within 45 days. When short sales are put in Equator, my experience has been very positive and the results by BOA have been smooth sailing. Does your agent have experience with short sales?Best Wishes
  • January 17 2013
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