More important that bidding down or up the asking price on a short sale, you are advised to compare market value to amount short. If it's a great deal, but amount short is too much for lender to approve (or if more than one lender) you may want to avoid the property altogether.
You can generally find amount owed by searching tax records or some of the feeder sites.
You can offer what you feel is right for you. Also, know your comparables as the lender for the short sale will do their homework and you should also do yours. Good Luck!
Susan Penn, PA, SFR
2000 Main Street
Weston, FL 33326
Julie Lucia, Realtor
Each answer may, or may not be, contingent upon your answer to the preceding question, depending on how you answer it. For example, you may answer #4 Yes, #3 Yes, only approved for x amount lower than the listing price. Now, here's where it gets tough: #2 if the shortsale is already approved, then the bank is looking for an offer usually not less than the listing price. If the short sale is not approved, then it may be possible that the bank will accept a short sale offer at less than the listing price, if #1 the comparable sales of homes indicates that it is worth less than asking price.
These are, of course, all questions that your agent (if you have one) should be asking you and providing you with guidance on.