While some short sales move along in a timely manner (45 - 60 days) most take much longer. To understand why this happens you need first to understand a short sale. A short sale happens when someone owes more on the property than they are receiving in the sale. This does not always mean the buyer got a good deal, only that the bank gave a loan for more than the current market will return. Many times when you request a short sale there are several layers of approval necessary before a lender can agree to "write the shortage off". (and, yes I know that sometimes they put a lien against the seller for the shortage). Before they can approve the short sale a lender may need approvals from the investor who bought the loan, the Private Mortgage Insurance company in addition to their own management. To get this approval they my need to prove why they should take less than they are entitled. This probably involves a financial statements from the sellers showing they are not capable of paying the shortage, an appraisal showing that the property is really not worth more and a preliminary closing statement showing who gets a part of the money from the sale. If there is a second mortgage the same process could exist there also. These things take time - sometimes a lot of time. While I do not want to discourage you from buying the home you desire, I do want you to go into the process with realistic expectations. Short sales can take a long time - 3 months, 6 months, 9 months are not uncommon. And some of them never get approved. The seller is asking the bank to take less money that they are owed - banks are very reluctant to do that. Each sale is different. To avoid frustrations later ask a lot of questions, pick an agent that is very familiar with the short sale process and then allow enough time for the approvals to get done.