Putting in an offer on a shortsale needs to have many questions answered by the seller. examples: is the seller and agent submitted paper work to bank? w2s, hardship, tax returns, to name a few. Did seller put down 20% when he bought the home. If yes great, if no, very bad. that means PMI insurance is most likely on mortgage. This will require seller to come up with money at closing. If seller can't, no deal. How many mortgages are on home? one great, held by the bank or do they have an investor? Differance 30 days to get an answer from the bank vs. 3 to 5 months. How long has house been on market? Is it at Fair market or did seller agent list under market to start?Differance in time is significant and may not close if bank feels that it was not on market long enough. If 2 mortgages are more complicated generally and take more time. Which bank the sellers mortgages are with can be 6 months differance aswell. All these questions should have been answered prior to putting in offer in my opinion. otherwise you go into a deal in the blind. As to renting, that can be a slippery slope. You would want a written lease at minimum. Where is owner at in the foreclosure process, if they haven't kept up with payments. Do online research for court filings. Realize owner may not make any repairs to home if problems arise. I would research other options first.