In the normal real estate transaction, the Purchaser and Seller usually negotiate the contract price, with multiple counter-offers, in order to obtain the highest price the Purchaser will pay. With a short sale, especially if a foreclosure is looming, what is needed is an executed contract with the Purchaser still willing to negotiate should the Short Sale Lender require a higher sales price.
With a short sale, it does not matter what price is initially agreed to in the contract. It is still up to the Short Sale Lender to approve the final contract price. So rather than initially negotiate the highest price the Purchaser will pay, leave some room for further negotiations. With short sales, the original contract price and terms are rarely the final numbers agreed to by the Short Sale Lender.
All of the rules and practices we have learned with real estate contracts and negotiations are usually “moot” when dealing with a short sale. Once the contract is signed and the inspection is complete, all the parties to the transaction (Purchaser, Seller, both Realtors) have one main goal. That goal is convincing the Short Sale Lender to accept the contract price and terms.