The risks are similar to any home purchase. However, one thing that is different is that it can take a long time to purchase a short sale and you need to be very patient. If the bank doesn't approve the deal or if they decide to foreclose before your purchase closes the entire deal could fall through. I always recommend to my buyers that they consider an owners title policy when purchasing a home. With a short sale this is very highly recommended so that you are protected as a buyer in case any title issues come up in the future.