"As is" refers to the condition of the property being sold. What it means is that the seller does not want to make any repairs that an inspection may find. As a buyer, you are still entitled to have an inspection, and once you review the results, you must accept the condition the home is in, or cancel the contract. As far as a "short sale" and "subject to 3rd party approval" this means that the seller owes more on the mortgage than the asking price and that the final selling price is not determined by the seller, but by the lender. There are many of these in today's market for a variety of reasons. The last few years, a market frenzy brought out a whole new "creative financing boom" where buyers got involved in mortgages they could not otherwise qualify for. When property values declined as they have in this market, and adjustable mortgages adjusted, and insurance and tax bills went up, these homeowners could no longer afford these homes. Throw the sluggish economy into the equation, the high price of gas, and we are overloaded with homes for sale, short sales and foreclosures, and too much inventory for buyers to choose from! It has also caused lenders to tighten their once very loose lending guidelines, making it more difficult to obtain financing, creating another hurdle for buyers wanting to buy, to get financed.