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It depends on two things:1. The bank2. The asset
I have banks accept the first offer that comes in and or counter back at there price, I also have had banks take several offers and counter to all for a highest and best offer.
I have not come across the bank waiting for more offers, usually they ask the agents to do that. This is especially common when they list the home for less then market value to try to incite a bidding war.
As other people have stated, the listing agents frequently collects offers, but once it gets to the banks this is usually not the delay.Banks usually wont wait for a better offer (this really depends on the bank) once they receive the offer because they are currently so overloaded they just don't have time to process more than one offer on a property at a time.
Usually banks will get an agent to drive by the home (occasionally actually enter the home), and give them a rough estimate of what the home is worth. Depending on the condition of the interior this can be way off.
If your offer is within about 10-15 percent of the BPO (about the amount they expect to pay for foreclosure, lost mtg payments while it is listed, property tax and utilities, ect if they have to reposes it and sell it as a bank owned home), and the owner has correctly submitted all their documents and qualifies for a short sale, there is a good chance they will accept your offer, but it can take the bank months to process all your paperwork.If your offer is not close to the BPO, the sellers agent can try to get a new one, or wait to see if more homes in the area sell for prices that support your offer. A good agent might include a letter to the bank with you offer stating why they think your offer is reasonable (the bank may or may not read it).Each bank is different, and short sales can be incredibly frustrating for everyone involved, but you can get some amazing deals. Hope this helps.
As FriendshipProperties states, it is not the banks, it is the listing agents. The offers can be held for as long as the listing agent chooses. It can be extremely aggravating when they "collect" offers for an extended period of time.
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