Traditionally, the house is listed and then the offers come in. The agent then advises the client regarding the best offer. The offer that is the best financially and has the greatest chance of closing. The owner of the houses accepts one offer and signs it. The Realtor submits the offer to the bank. Then, the negotiating begins. The bank will want BPO's and appraisals. The bank comes up with a price they will take. If the offer matches or is greater, the bank can accept the offer. Escrow opens. In this very tight market, there are multiple offers on short sales. Many times the realtors are innundated with offers. Some houses get 30 to 50 offers. If the realtor has many listings, then it becomes impossible to call all the offers and tell them they weren't high enough. The buyers' agent must follow up. The agent must call and ask what the status is. Sometimes, it is very, very difficult. I have called agents, and they never call back. My clients get frustrated. Unfortunately, if you offered the list price, you may not have the winning offer. Now, most houses in short sale are going out over the asking price. Houses that are listed at $250,000 in Simi sell for $300,000 because the low price creates a bidding war. People who have lost out on several houses will pay more to make sure they don't lose the next time. Find a realtor who has experience and is persistent. This is no market for the faint of heart. Best of luck. Have a wonderful and positive day.