My recent experience with short sales (ones in which the bank does not own the house, but still has to approve the sale) is that the banks are resisting selling a house for less than what they feel is "market value" which, in many cases, is full list price. I have seen it recently in Weston on both the buy side and the sell side. The face value of the mortgage is not what they have in the house. You have to factor in other costs, back payments due, maintenance, taxes, commission, closing costs, etc. and you might not know what those costs are. So I doubt you would get the house if you offered $600,000 because that is the amount of the outstanding mortgage, especially if the house is listed for a higher price. But to you, there is no cost of making the offer - try it ,and then you will know. Just be prepared to get a negative answer. You can always come back with a higher offer.