I am a bit late to this thread since I have been on vacation (a much needed one at that)!
I should preface my response by saying that I have successfully closed several short sale transactions on behalf of sellers. I have presented offers for a handful of buyer clients on short sale listings...none have been successful.
I have a pretty consistent message to my buyer clients who are interested in short sale properties...Proceed with caution! If your buyer has a high tolerance for uncertainty, frustration, disappointment, and waiting, a short sale purchase might be great for him/her.
With short sales, the buyer has zero control over the flow of the transaction whatsoever. It is very difficult to determine in advance if conditions are right for a short sale to be approved by a lender...or lenders. They can take months to get approval. Sometimes, while the buyer waits for approval, at the 11th hour, a better offer might come in - and then your buyer is just out of luck. Sometimes, your buyer waits months for approval and then the lender says no. Sometimes, time runs out and the bank forecloses the home out from underneath your buyer. The risk for buyers compounds with the use of VA or FHA loans or grant programs - as there are restrictions on property condition, and short sales are generally sold 'as-is'. If the appraiser notes anything that needs attention in the appraisal, and the underwriter decides that the home must have _____ repair done prior to the close of escrow, there will be a problem, and yes this does happen.
My experience is that most buyers who are motivated to find a home get frustrated after submitting offers on multiple properties, and will eventually just stay away from short sales on their own. They generally make that call...not me.
My concern is not with getting paid...it is providing the buyer with a positive (and successful) home buying experience. ;-)