Tom pretty much summed up the process, but it's important to know that there is a process once the offer hits the sellers bank as well. Remember, the reason it is a short sale if because the value of the home is less than the sellers payoff, so the bank is going to end up being short. Once the offer is delivered to the seller, the seller will usually accept it fairly quickly because they want it to get to the bank ASAP so a negotiator can be assigned. From there, the bank will often times order a BPO (brokers price opinion) from a 3rd party to ensure the offer is somewhat in the range for fair market value. From there, the bank may have to get approval from their investors (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, mortgage insurance companies, etc) before giving the go ahead to accept. So as was previously stated, you must have patience and a persistent buyers agent to succeed in buying a short sale.