A short sale will take months to complete. In some instances, the time period can be shorter, and in other instances, can be significantly longer...and some short sales are not completed at all. Briefly, some of the pitfalls include: lienholder(s) not approving the short sale; or there may be approval by lienholder(s) but not at the listing price or at the price the buyer expected; or there may be approval but the seller or buyer may not agree to the terms, such as having the buyer contribute money toward the release of a second lien, including back-owed HOA dues; or if the house is in default, it could be foreclosed on before a short sale can be consummated. This is not a complete list of pitfalls. If you want to pursue a short sale, be sure that the Realtor you are working with knows enough about short sales to be able to ask the right questions of the listing agent, and ask your Realtor whether the listing agent, too, knows the short sale process, in order for you to have the best chance of being able to buy that short sale property. For more information, please see the Short Sale Q & A on my website which will explain a bit more about the pros and cons of buying a short sale.