4 reasons your short-sale offer failed

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Q: In April I offered $165,000 on a short sale that was listed at $150,000. My offer was for all cash, but we just found out the property was sold in June to someone else for $160,000 -- $5,000 lower than my offer! My broker said that banks look at the first in line and try to work with that rather than try to get the best offer or even look at all offers. Is that true? My offer was third in line, and apparently the bank took a lower offer that came in before mine. Is this really the way it happens with short sales, or should I look for a different broker? --Anonymous, Los Angeles A: I can envision several different scenarios that might have legitimately led to this result. First off, the other buyer might have simply gotten into contract first. Once a seller is in contract with a buyer, they can't simply cancel the contract with that buyer because they get a higher offer. Some banks require that all offers be submitted by the listing agent so they can select the highest a...