Here are some tips that I hope will help - Before you ever take a short sale listing get the HO to sign the Third Party Authorization form (most banks have their forms online, if not use a generic or call to see if they have the forms). Call the Lender and get detailed info on the loan, what is the UPB, does it have MI, is the loss greater than 80% of UPB, is it being serviced by Bank A or does Bank A own the paper? Is the HO even qualified for a short sale.
Now back to the negotiator, if the short sale is only in pre-foreclosure, the negotiator will treat it as a next in line. For those of who you are not aware, today's negotiators probably have at least 250 short sale packages on their desk at all times and will close approx 70 or more deals a month per negotiator. And if the bank is not contracted with Fannie/Freddie under the HAFA program, they do not have to follow the HAFA rules. Another thing to find out up front, is the Lender part of the HAFA program.
I recommend that every realtor, contact a Lender and ask to visit their Loss Mitigation Dept for an overview - most Lenders will allow a short visit. Once you understand the "other" side, then you will understand the Short Sale process. Patience and Good Luck!