It is so important to do a Title search before doing the short sale and you must pull the deed before moving forward on the sale. There might be liens and encumbrances on the property. These might have to be negotiated prior to moving forward. We as Realtors, cannot negotiate liens. That must be done by a lawyer. If the homeowner is behind on their payments, a lien could be filed on the house. You musts make sure HOA is up to date, if it applies to property. Taxes must also be up to date. If there are refinances on the property, you must make sure the subordination is recorded too!!!!! If it is not recorded, that means the second mortgage would be in the first position.
The importance of pulling the actual deed to the property is crucial! You must verify you are dealing with all the parties involved. All parties on the deed must also sign the listing agreement, contract, and all settlement documents. If it's a divorce situation, both parties must be on the same page, since you will ultimately need both signatures if they are both on the deed!!
A good recommendation would be to pull the deed prior to visiting the property so that you can make sure that all parties are present at your first meeting, that need to be!
If these things are done ahead of time, it will safe a lot of time and aggravation at settlement. Not having these things done, could also prevent going to settlement! That would make for a very unhappy client!!!!
Short Sales are not going away anytime soon!!! At least not for a few years!