Short Sale offer in for two weeks. Listing still shows Active!

This is the 4th short sale we have tried to get, and the only one who accepted our offer.

Two weeks ago we placed a full price cash offer on a house that has been on the market for over 149 days.  AFTER we placed th offer, our agent found out that there had been two previous offers.  One was low, and GMAC turned it down.  The other offer was for $10K over asking, was approved, but the buyer found another home, and dropped out.  The agent explained she can't take the home off Active because of a clause in her contract with GMAC.  This makes us nervous.  We could raise our offer to the already approved price, but we fear they will come back even higher since we are showing so much interest in the property.  Meanwhile the house can be shown, and other offers taken, I guess.  What to do?

Does GMAC keep all properties Active in the MLS?

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I don't know that listing agent would have ANY contract with GMAC, on a short sale. Haven't done one with them, but I doubt they make you sign any agreement about soliciting more "offers". I'm sure others with GMAC experience will chime in.

Weird case here.  The selling agent is a realtor.  House was her late mom's.  Here is what she responded to our agent:  "The bank wants me to leave it active till they approve the price
reduction.  Your clients will have first chance as they are the accepted
offer from the seller.   I scanned over the contract Saturday did you
rec it?"

Your purchase contract may, or may not, dictate if the sellers are allowed to accept "back up" offers. If they get a higher back up, and the agent communicates it to the bank, obviously that hurts you. The local board may have regulations on status designations for "contingent" short sales.
Definitely keep your offer where it is, until you receive a counter from the bank.

Just be sure your contract is fully signed and accepted. If it is then the seller cannot just kick you to the curb. Sellers can always accept back-up contracts. But they must be subject to the primary contract.

Bryant, just curious...Our Short Sale purchase contract Addendum(s) (both Fl Realtor-Simplicity) specifically gives a choice to check, on whether or not the Seller is allowed to execute back up offers.  Do you use one of these (both revised 2010), or your own?

I see no problem with sellers accepting back up offers. Our association, by placing that clause in their short sale addendum is just showing their lack of understanding of the short sale process. Whether or not a seller can accept a back up contract has nothing to do with a property being a short sale or not.

A back up contract is just that...a back up. It does not get submitted to the lender. It stays in the file (even if it's a better deal) until the primary contract is no longer in force. Then the back up contract becomes the primary contract.


This makes me feel MUCH better!  We have seen many homes we either made offers on or had an interest in doing so immediately go into HOLD or PENDING status.  We were very nervous that ours did not because the house is absolutely perfect for us, and we didn't want to get into a bidding war! 

The Real Estate Agent AKA Seller did tell our realtor,

"Your clients will have first chance as they are the accepted
offer from the seller."

Thanks for your reassuring reply!

Yes, but it's "subject to third party acceptance." So, if other offers are being submitted to the bank and not filed, the bank can and may reject the primary contract. Is this agent submitting offers to the bank? ...or is the agent filing them??  As Wayne suggests above, if the inexperienced agent communicates other, higher or better, back-up offers, that will hurt your offer. The property in question should either be fully UAG or UAG, but taking back-ups. It does seem to me that the agent is inexperienced. If any bank "told" me to keep something active when there's a valid and very legal executed contract, I would probably correct that person asap. Not only is the agent falsely advertising a property as "available," she/he is wasting other people's time and effort - and may even undermine the sale of the house with the first buyer - you! In Mass. our MLS people have created the category of UAG, but taking back-up offers - which means - back-ups can be taken, BUT, and it's a "BIG BUTT" (pun intended), they stay in the file until the first one dies. ...or rather, they "should." ...but, unfortunately, "should" is only a word... We do have agents all over the country working short sales when they just do not know what they are doing and end up causing more harm to the very sellers they are trying to help...  Sorry, but I think you should inquire whether the agent is (wrongly) submitting "all" offers to the bank, and if she/he refuses to respond, ask to speak with the Managing Broker. If he/she is submitting all offers to the bank, then you will have to make a decision whether to wait it out knowing you could get knocked out of the equation with a variety of scenarios, including a slip of the tongue by the seller's daughter, and/or could actually be using your offer as leverage to solicit more.  Personally, once I find out an agent is mishandling the short sale, and the property is for me, I'm gone in a flash.... whoooosh!  If it's for my buyer, they make in informed decision... and I explain ALL scenarios.  I haven't yet had one wait around for a decision while losing out on other opportunities. My two cents - rescind your offer or demand he/she takes it off the market. If he/she does not take it off the market, or at the very least, flags it as UAG with back-up offers being taken, have someone look over your contract to find our "out," or the ability to amend, or if you blew by a date - use it. Then, I'd say to re-submit same offer with a kick-out clause or a deadline for the bank - while you keep looking. If you find another house, and there are many, you will be able to get out of this one with ease while they're still debating, deciding, and hoping you remain "hooked," until they're satisfied it was the best offer after all.   


Susan - No matter what GMAC says, you must abide by your MLS rules. If it's a "contract" in the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, for example, I cannot leave the listing in Active status. It must be changed to C or P (contingent or pending). Either of those cases- we rarely get back-up offers in our market. Further, the standard Florida contract has a clause that is often used, stating the seller may not accept back-up offers. I find them normally a waste of time.

Bingo - I agree!  ...I guess I should have read the entire thread before posting my book above...  lol...

So true.  Back-up offers are are waste given the extended timeframe a Short Sale takes.



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