Short-sale cash demands take toll on buyers

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Q: We are currently in the process of buying a short sale in Cape Coral, Fla. We placed the bid and after 10 weeks our agent said the bank accepted the bid but it needed $5,000 more for the second lien.

OK, we offered that the next day. However, today the agent called and said we now must pay the full asking price, which is another $35,000.

This is the best part: The home is listed by an agency that the seller works for (he is also a real estate agent), so basically the seller is the listing agent’s co-worker. I am at the point of walking away. Any suggestions?

A: As you probably know by now, my position is that short-sale buyers should essentially always be at the ready to walk away unless and until they have the seller’s bank’s approval — on terms that work for both buyer and seller — in hand. In your situation, though, there are some facts that suggest it might not quite be time to bail — not just yet, anyway.

There are a couple of mysteries about your situation. First, do you have your own agent? If you are working with the listing agent, then of course you’ll have a lot of concern and suspicion about what you’re being told, because of the agent’s tight personal relationship with the seller.