Yes you can. A Real Estate Short Sale refers to a lender(s) accepting a sales price that is less than what is currently owed plus all related sales expenses. This is common in a declining housing market and can be a win-win for both the bank and the homeowner.
Normally a bank will begin to look at the Short Sale option only if the homeowner has a financial hardship, is behind on payments and begins to face foreclosure. We have ran many short sales for investors that gutted an investment property, started to rehab it, and ran out of time or money! We then step in and place an offer on the property and negotiate our own short sale! I suppose that the process would be the same if you had a lot and were in the process of building a new house on it. As long as you have that financial hardship and cannot make the payments any longer, most banks will work with you on a short sale.
Now, the key is getting a viable offer to submit with your short sale packet to begin negotiations!!