As others have stated, start with a good realtor. Hiring a buyers agent is your best option. Please check out my blog on short sale basics. It will give you a good understanding of the basics and the pros and cons of short sales versus Bank Owned.
Below is the link to my blog.
Darla Schroeder, Realtor, GRI, e-PRO
Century 21 Real Estate Champions
4350 Duhme Rd
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
cell (727) 541-3743
You absolutely want to get a Realtor, try to interview multiple agents and find one that is knowledable in the short sale(pre-foreclosure) and foreclosure markets. Your Realtor will help you negotiate purchase price with the bank involved.
Jason Ewing, GRI/CNS
Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors