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making an offer

if i make an offer, short sale or regular sale, can i give a time frame until my offer is valid, lets say 48 hours, or for a short sale a week, and if i dont hear back, the offer is no longer valid, so that i can make another offer on a different house? i dont want to wait month to hear back from a short sale, if at all.
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November 16 2011 - US
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Answers (14)

in a short sale or forclousure you at the banks mercy when it comes to time.
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November 19 2011
You can put whatever you want in an offer, just keep in mind, the banks run the show.  Best of luck.
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November 17 2011
findingmydreamhome,
Absolutely, there has to be a time frame associated with any offer.  Short-sales are a little different in that you will need to obtain approval from a third-party (lender) as well as the seller.  The timing on hearing back from a lender is going to be dependent on where in the short sale process the home is.  Regardless, If you will put a time frame on that offer. I have written an article on the short sale process that will be helpful understanding timing for offers.  I would be happy to send it to you if you desire.  Just email me at [deleted by Zillow moderator.  Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
Paul
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November 17 2011
@ Scott

I have found absolutely no difference in the level of professionalism/competence between agents who are not realtors and agents who are realtors.
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November 17 2011
SIMPLE ANSWER - (Short Sale)

Short Sale Offers - write in your offer, "buyer reserves the right to withdraw the Contract to Purchase for any reason prior to the lienholders written acceptance of said Offer." This allows you to continue shopping for homes. In the event you find another home, you simply withdraw your first offer. Course, if I were you, I'd only look at non-foreclosure or short-sale homes going forward as all you'll be doing is resetting the clock if you jump from one short sale to another.


TRADITIONAL SALE

I would absolutely put a time of expiration in the offer.You don't want to give the seller or their agent extra time to shop your offer. 24 hrs is more than enough. Sellers have had plenty of time to play out the offer/negotiation scenario in their heads and should be able to respond to your initial offer within 24 hours. Course, this assumes there are no complicated layers on the sellers side. i.e., Estate Sale, Multiple Owner's, Corporate owned, etc.

ABOVE ALL

Find a Realtor (not just an agent) who is certified to represent buyers. You can ask the Realtor if they have their CBR or ABR designation. (in state of MA.) This distinguishes the professionally trained Buyer Brokers apart from those who have had no formal training. Next, seek out a Realtor who is not only trustworthy but also has the knowledge & experience to properly advise you at every turn. If they haven't been around the block a few times, you could get burnt! At the end of the day, you can't ask a question if you didn't know what or who to ask :)

Best of luck,

Scott Gordon, GRI, CRP, CBR, SRES, LMC
President / Owner Broker
Realty Edge, LLC
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November 17 2011
All of these answers are excellent, and accurate, and I would like to add one thing.

Find an experienced local Realtor whom you feel you can work with, and LISTEN to their advice.  They will make you feel more comfortable with any offer you wish to submit, and may have local contacts and information that will help with your decisions.  Such as which banks move most quickly with short sales in your area, or what local agent is handling what bank's listings.  Unless your market is very small, there are always some properties around where a short sale offer has fallen through, and the banks have everything already in order to close a short sale quickly.

Ask your friends/relatives/coworkers who they would use as a Realtor, and interview/chat with several until you find a good fit for you.

Good luck.
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November 17 2011
Short sales are not for the faint of heart, and generally are a poor choice for first time home buyers (because of both process and delayed maintenance issues). It really sounds like you don't want to apply the patience related to the process, which is perfectly understandable and valid. They usually take a long time because thought the bank does want to get rid of the potentially non-performing asset, they have a responsibility to shareholders to make sure they are doing their due diligence - which takes banks forever. They tend to have a long backlog, internal red tape, and high turnover in those departments (because would you want to take those calls all day?).

There is nothing wrong with going in for a traditional sale (or even an estate type sale if you are willing to throw a week or so on waiting for a response). Just because there are a lot of short sales and foreclosures right now doesn't mean it's the best puchase or buying experience for you.
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November 17 2011
On a traditional sale, usually a few days is sufficient. Ask your agent to help you with this.  If the seller is local and easily reached, I'd say give them no more than 24 hours.  If there are multiple sellers, ie. an estate, they may need a few days to get everyone's input.  REO/bank owned properties usually will ignore whatever time frame you put in for a response, deadlines pretty much are meaningless to banks.  Usually a week is plenty of time.  On short sales, you can give the seller (who is the owner) a few days to accept the offer. Then the offer goes to the lender(s) and they will usually need about 90 days.  I won't accept less than 90 day approval periods on my short sales.  As a buyer, you have to be willing to wait for those.
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November 17 2011
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i dont understand why it would not be in the interest of the bank to close on a short sale as quickly as possible, since they at least would get part to most of the money owed. seems like no private buyer would want to wait month or never to get an answer and the bank would not get rid of their short sales? So it really makes no sense for me to make an offer on a short sale, unless its absolutely my dream home, right?
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November 17 2011
Regular Offers - if you want to close the time window due to possible competition, I would reduce the RPA standard time frame of 3 days down to 24-48 hours.

Bank Owned - The time frames are completely ignored. What ever you put in is always ignored. They do things at their own pace... regardless of anyone or anything. An answer to your offer could take 1-10 days or never. There is a real art to writing a winning offer on Bank Owned homes.

Short Sales - Your first contact is with the Seller who has to accept or reject your offer. You can tighten up the time frame there to 24-48 hours also. And I advise it... if you think there may be competition. But, once the seller accepts your offer and it is submitted to the Short Sale Lender... you will not hear back for a long, long time. All of the rules we have played by in Real Estate for decades... got thrown out by the banks. They have no consideration or respect for good ethics. You just have to realize that when playing in their arena.

A good Short Sale contract will want to see the buyers deposit committed to waiting at least 90 days before pulling out... because there is a lot of work in packaging a short sale... and if the buyer bails out... it is just hard on everyone.

Good Luck!
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November 16 2011
You can withdraw an existing offer at any time. Since they do take a long time to go through, you should keep looking. I've had buyers wait to get the answer from the bank only to have the bank come back and asked for more money. Just be sure to withdraw one before you enter into another one. All you have to do is send an email or fax informing that you are withdrawing the offer. It's that easy but you'll need a paper trail.
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November 16 2011
The fastest I have ever heard back from a short sale was 2.5 weeks...and that was by pseudo-stalking the bank.
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November 16 2011
Hi,

You can specify an expiration date on any offer.

On a short sale, you cannot expect the bank to honor your time-frame, and the act of writing in an offer expiration may automatically cause them to reject your offer if they know they cannot (or will not) respond within the time requested.

However, if you are willing to take this risk, it could work in your favor to keep your search schedule on pace... In other words, by putting an expiration date on a short-sale offer, you would essentially be placing the time constraint on yourself to know when to cut your losses and move on.

Does this help?
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November 16 2011
Profile picture for wetdawgs
With a regular sale, you can give a time frame usually a day or two.  With short sale, don't waste your time making an offer if you wish to put a time frame for response of a week.
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November 16 2011
 
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