August, 2012:

I am ready to close on a short sale that I’m buying, but the bank won’t pay the back HOA fees. Don’t the banks usually pay this on a short sale?

The lenders will often limit the amount of back HOA fees that they will pay at closing on a short sale. That is because a lender that acquires title to a property through foreclosure in Florida is only on the hook for one year’s worth of HOA fees. However, many distressed properties have accumulated several years’ worth of unpaid HOA fees. For that reason, it is oftentimes smart on the part of the HOA to accept the lender’s offer and allow the sale to proceed.

When entering into a contract to purchase a short sale, you must bear in mind that the banks are under no obligation to approve short sales to begin with. If they do choose to approve one, it is only because they believe it to be in their own best interst to do so.

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We contracted to buy a house. Just before closing the sellers said they no longer wish to move and cannot sell it to us. What can we do?

Unless the contract was contingent upon their personal disposition, the sellers may have a problem. If you are near the closing date, you have most likely expended a fair amount of money for appraisal, survey, inspections, etc.  At a minimum, the seller should be very happy to reimburse you for all out of pocket expenses in exchange for a mutual release. If not, contact a local real estate attorney for more options.

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I submitted a contract to buy a bank owned property…

I submitted a contract to buy a bank owned property. The bank didn’t counter with a price, but responded by asking me for my “highest and best offer”.  How should I respond to them?

The banks will often utilize the “highest and best” counter when presented with multiple offers on the same property.  It’s their way of keeping everything fair and balanced, and helps them realize the highest net as well. We are seeing as many as 17 offers at a time on our bank owned listings, many of which actually sell for more than asking price. If it looks like a great deal to you, it will look like a great deal to others as well. Our advice is to make your best offer first and try to come in under the wire.

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