The length of time to buy a short sale house is not so much dependent on time it takes to get one's loan vs. paying cash. (as the loan process can be done fairly quickly in many situations), but rather the time it takes the bank(s) to reply to the offer. Always check to see if there is only 1 loan on the property or if there are 2 loans on the property. Also check to see if FHA or conventional loan. In cases where I have had 2 loans and FHA it took 4.5 months to even get a 1st response from the Bank(s) on Buyer's offer. AFterward, the 2 banks had to Both agree to amount they would be willing to accept (short of full loan, of course). One bank agreed ,the other did not. . . so we had to continue to deal with the second bank to get full agreement. . . took total of 5.5 months. Just closed another short sale, and it took almost 5 months to hear back, and we closed at 6th month point.