Interesting question. Agents who specialize in short sales generally specialize in actually listing them, not representing buyers to purchase them. The listing agent is the one who does all of the 'special' work to negotiate with the lender(s) to get them to agree to a short payoff of the sellers loan(s). I, like Elizabeth, list short sales. I get referrals and people find me on google too...
On the other side of the coin, I am very hesitant to suggest to buyers that they get involved in a short sale transaction - there is a lot of risk in your shoes. What type of loan program are you working with? The risk for buyers compounds if you are using a VA or FHA loans or grant programs - as there are restrictions on property condition, and short sales are generally sold 'as-is'. If your 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, you will have a problem, and yes this does happen.
What are the other risks, you might ask? 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 you wait for approval, at the 11th hour, a better offer might come in - and then you are just out of luck. Sometimes, you wait months for approval and then the lender says no. Sometimes, time runs out and the bank
forecloses the home out from underneath you. So basically, if you have a high tolerance for uncertainty, frustration, disappointment, and waiting, a short sale purchase might be great for you. ;-)