As for what you pay (and what you offer): Have your Realtor do a CMA on the property. Determine what it's worth. Then pay no more for the property than the CMA. Probably offer less.
Notice that the "listed price" has nothing to do with what you offer? It doesn't. As noted below, the listed price might be too high (in which case you'd be overpaying) or too low (in which case the bank will reject your offer). And if you're paying cash, then you wouldn't be paying for an appraisal (unless you voluntarily chose to do so), so it'd be even easier to overpay.
As for "negotiating for less," what's to negotiate? The seller won't walk away with a penny. Whether the actual property sells for a penny or $100,000, it doesn't make any difference to the seller. It does make a difference, of course, when the bank reviews your offer. But negotiating--not with the seller. You make an offer that works for you--based on the CMA. Then, if the bank doesn't like it, the bank (not the seller) comes back with a higher counter. Then you negotiate--but never going above the CMA number.
Your Realtor can provide additional guidance.
Short of it, before you make any moves / waste your time ask your buyer broker to find out if the bank has approved the short sale. If the answer is "no" understand this may not be worth your time. Short sales have very low probabilities of closing.
1) Do you have a buyer's agent? He/she can help you determine the value of the property. He/she can help you put together an offer.
2) There are several components of a short sale to keep in mind. Do you know where the bank is in the selling process...this can be a help in determining the offer price.
I suggest you work with an agent. It does not cost you anything...the bank will pay the agent.
I am available to assist you if you are not working with an agent at this time. Please contact me, at your convenience.
Keller Williams Realty
As you can tell from all the answers, short sales can be challenging and confusing. Listinging prices are all over the board. For a short sale to be completed successfully two main objectives must be meet. The seller must be able to prove financial hardship and the property must be sold at a value acceptable to the lender(s). The fact you are a cash buyer will greatly improve your chances assuming the 2 objectives mentioned above are meet.
The list price is not necessarily the current market value. Have your Realtor do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on the property using Sold comps within a 1 mile radius of the property (the closer, the better) that have Sold within the last 3 months. This will give you current market value. This is what you should base your offer on. The bank(s) will hire someone (appraiser or Realtor) to determine current market value for them before they will accept an offer.
Have your agent run comparable sales and make an offer accordingly.
Many short sales are placed on the market at very low prices. The reason for that is to get as many offers as they can, so they can present the best one to the bank. If it has been on the market for sometime, I still may question the low price. Also banks do not necessarily accept an offer even over the asking price. They have their BPO's, Appraisals, etc. 1st step is to get the seller to accept your offer. Then the bank. The fact that you are a cash buyer is also a plus in your favor.
The good news is that while you'r waiting to get a response from the bank, you can cancel the contract for any reason or no reason whatsoever.
You really should look into closely into the development your considering buying into. Many condo develoments are not approved for financing for any numbr of reasons and when the time comes for you to sell you'd be limited to buyers who like yourself can and will pay cash. (This is a very small segement of the buyers overall)
Is the condo HAO solvent, are there any pending specila assesments? Is the current owenr current with the HOA fees. What percentage of the owner in the development are investors versus owner occupants? Is the Development FHA approved?
Another considertion is after you have your home inseptions completed who is going to pay for any necessary repairs? If you're informed you're buying the unit "as-is" then I would suggest you take this at face value and factor it in when you're making your offer.
Hopefully you're working with an experienced Realtor who can help you get all of these and other questions answered.