Who decides which short sale offer to accept? The Homeowner.

The Homeowner decides which offer to accept.

Because the seller’s lender has to approve a short sale, many believe that it is the lender who sees all the offers and decides which to accept. That’s not true. It’s just one of the misconceptions that’s been repeated so often that people have come to believe it.

As long as no foreclosure has been finalized, the homeowner still has the right to accept or reject any offer to purchase his or her home. The lender’s asset manager simply approves or rejects that offer after your agent submits it.

It is the homeowner who chooses the listing agent and sets the listing price, based on advice from his or her short sale listing agent. When the listing agent is experienced in short sales, that listing price will fall within a range that’s acceptable to the lender.

It is also the homeowner who chooses which offer to submit to their lender for approval.

A homeowner may reject any offer – for any reason.

Homeowners aren’t obligated to entertain offers far below market value, and can in fact reject an offer simply because the buyer “rubbed them the wrong way.” It is still their house.

Unfortunately, some home buyers and their agents don’t understand this. Some believe that the homeowner must accept any offer and submit it to the lender.

Most of the time, homeowners have good reasons for rejecting an offer. Those reasons include:

  • Price: Your agent has advised you that the bank won’t approve an offer below a certain number, and this offer is lower.
  • The buyers want expensive repairs – and you don’t plan to spend any more money on the house.
  • The buyers have included excessive contingencies – a sure sign that they’ve probably submitted multiple offers and could decide to walk.
  • The buyers have not gotten a loan pre-approval – so you don’t know that they could actually close.
  • The buyer has not put down enough earnest money to make you feel that he or she is serious and they refuse to increase it.

If you are underwater with a home in California and are thinking of short selling, get in touch.

You can reach me by calling 619-929-1413 or writing td@tomdunlap.com.

As a Short Sale specialist, I have helped hundreds of homeowners avoid foreclosure over the past 10 years. In fact, I have maintained a 98% success rate in getting my short sales closed.


Please note that the information provided on this short sale page is generic, academic information used for general information purposes and may not be construed as or relied upon as a promise for a specific outcome.

This site provides information about real estate, law, income taxes and credit scores as relates to borrowers in distress, short sales and similar situations. The site is designed to help users safely cope with their own needs. Information is not the same as advice — the application of law or regulations to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer, tax adviser or other specialist if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. The models in photographs accompanying the testimonials on this website are used for illustrative purposes and are not a personal endorsement.