short sales even ran by an experienced lisitng agent with the process, is problematic. The seller is using their attorney to wiggle out of the dificiency, and the bank has 3rd party approval rights to the contract. Buyer needs to disengage from buying other homes to hitch your wagon to a short sale means stopping lookng for other properties. Add to the mix that banks are letting more banks with PMI foreclose or they lose the insurance value of the PMI. legit hardship package, 2nd liens, proving that you cannot afford the house, (inverse qualification) is harder than getting a mortgage and lawyers trying for zero deficiency judgements or threaten chapter 7 bankruptcy.
I have sold short sale where the listing agent got the bank to pre-approve a price and we had to go in exactly at that number to get a fast track approval and close within 60 days. However, usually the bank doesn't order the distressed BPO until after an offer comes in and then the bank counters way higher than asking price and the buyer is flumoxed.
Plenty of inventory with hgih equity sellers out there and REO's to consider without chasing a short sale that often isn't a screaming deal.