It doesn't matter if you are a seller interested in a short sale or a buyer looking at this type of property, you need to become familiar with the risks. On the plus side, both parties are taking on some risk with the process. On the downside, this doesn't do any good when it comes to the final transaction.
As a buyer, you need to know the ins and outs of the short sale process. You are not forced into making this type of purchase, but you can't help which home you fall in love with.
The primary risk of a short sale is the timeline. It can take several months between making an offer and receiving a final answer. For some, this is no big deal. For others, those in a hurry to make a purchase and move in, this could be a deal breaker.
Here is something else to consider: The bank does not have to accept your offer. Remember, you are not dealing directly with the seller. They may be responsible for hiring an agent and listing the home, but the bank makes the final decision as to whether or not they will accept an offer.
There are many risks associated with a short sale. This holds true for the buyer and the seller. If you are buying this type of home, learning more about the process, including the potential pitfalls, is of utmost importance. This will help you understand what to expect, while putting you in position to deal with any issues that come up.
Source: Fox Business, "Risks of a Short Sale," accessed Sep. 10, 2015