I would recommend working with local agent you can interview provide your specificatons and budget. Agent can program MLS forward most update information including the moment a property "is posted in MLS". YOU ARE SO CORRECT short sale, foreclosures are time consuming, you could locate a home with equity w/o all the drama. If you search other website than MLS many are not updated an accurate. Cash buyer most of time you can close within 10 days after inspection and appraisal you wont have to depend on lender documents and etc.