We Are Trying to Buy a House With a Short Sale But It’s Going Nowhere. – Joy

“Dear Andy,

We are buyers. We have placed more than two offers on a short sale. First time, we were apparently out-bidded. Second, house was taken off market, then placed on active status and our #2 offer was put through with the Sellers paperwork to the bank. It was “accepted”. Offer made in October of last year. It is now over 14 months. In the course of this time, Sellers have removed items from the house after our bid was accepted twice. First occasion, we went back in and resubmitted a lower bid. Intermediary, indicated items were again removed after resubmitting (3rd offer). We checked ourselves; two AC units, furnace, all appliances, kitchen island top, knobs, light fixtures, bathroom vanities were all taken out of property. Listing agent said Sellers had moved out. No breakin was noted, no forced entry and listing agent refused to make a police report or insurance claim. As Buyers, we are fearing the Lender is not aware of what has transpired and has only been given a filtered/edited version making it impossible to negotiate and secure the property for purchase.

Can you advise us if it is possible that there is any criminal or illegal activity in this case? We smell a RAT! It’s almost like the Listing Agent want this to go to foreclosure in order to grab it for a cheaper price. What do you think?


Dear Joy,

This sounds like a disaster, through and through. Has there been any criminal or illegal activity? I don’t know.. you would need to speak with a local real estate attorney that could spend some time digging into the facts. Whether that’s worth the cost, is up to you. What does your real estate broker say?

If you made an offer 14 mos ago and still have not heard anything, something is wrong. Sure, when an offer is submitted to a lender for short sale approval it can take all of 30-90 days to get their response, but any longer than that, and something is not being done right. It sounds to me like the Seller doesn’t care whether the home sells as a short sale or is foreclosed, and it also sounds like the outcome doesn’t matter too much to the listing agent either. These are the worst type of short sales from a Buyer’s perspective. As the Buyer you need cooperation from the Seller and you need the list agent to be competent in getting the lender to approve your offer. Without this you’re probably just spinning your wheels.

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As for the list agent just waiting out the foreclosure to buy it themself for cheaper. That may be reaching a little. A foreclosure sale is a matter of public record (in my state anyway), which means that you could easily find out when and where it is happening and go yourself. You would have just as good o a shot at buying it at the FC sale as the list agent would. Keep in mind though, that buying at a FC sale does not always equal a better price. Many times your best deal will come as a short sale… before the the lender has to shell out thousands in legal fees to foreclose.

My advice is to have your real estate broker turn up the heat on the the list agent to find out what is up right away. I’m sure with the amount of time that has passed, and the Sellers stripping the home like the grinch, you must be out of contract by now. You should be able to walk away clean with any deposits refunded in full. If you are dead set on buying this one particular home, and the other side is being uncooperative, your best shot may be to wait out the foreclosure and make a run at it yourself when that time comes. Otherwise, it’s probably just time to move on.

Hope this helps and please keep us posted on your progress in the comment section below.

Best regards,

Andy Faria

Andy is a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts and is the founder of Northeast Properties in Norton, Massachusetts. His brokerage is designed to help homeowners in today’s difficult real estate market, specializing in short sales. Andy speaks with Massachusetts homeowners every day, helping them to address their questions or issues with short sale or loan modification. He enjoys helping consumers arrive at the correct solution to their problem, and believes that the only way to correctly do that is by presenting them with all of their options in an un-biased manner.

If you have a mortgage, short sale, real estate, or loan modification question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

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Broker/Owner of Northeast Properties – real estate brokerage
President/Owner of Northeast Settlement Group – performance based debt relief