Alicia, when it comes to short sales, the asking price for the most part is meaningless. Agents list these properties at a price that will or should bring an offer in quickly in order for them to start the process with the bank since it can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days for a decision. Although the seller may accept your price and terms, the bank has the final say since they are taking a "loss" on the sale. The minimum bid is typically the amount to pay off the first loan, plus interest, fees etc. The sale date can always be postponed by the lender if they want it to be, so that date isn't necessarily set in stone. As far as countering goes, you need to think of repair costs, termite, etc. Many times the lender will not pay these types of costs, while sometimes when the property becomes an REO, they will in an effort to move the property quickly. To be able to answer your counter question better, we would need to know what other homes in the area have been selling for within the past 1 to 3 months. Do not look farther back tham that.