Please remember that the Lender may try to dictate the terms of the short sale, but they cannot interfere with your contract. It is VERY important to have the help of a very experienced short sale qualified real estate agent o help you through this process. The bank reps will try to tell a homeowner what to do, but it really comes down to the agent negotiating with them to find out what they really need out of the entire process. Banks want to get what they mortgaged the property for, back out of the home. If they are going to take a loss, they want it to be minimal. The bottom line is that you need to find their bottom line. Anything above that, they should accept. They incur a lot of expense and extra time having to foreclose on a property. So a good negotiator will use this to their advantage and know how to help the process along without having to jump through all of the hoops a lender will try to put you through.