Buying a home in a short sale can be a slow process and somewhat of a hassle, so why should you consider it? It is all about the bottom line. You will be able to get the property for a substantial discount. You can usually buy for 10% off the low end of fair market value. Don't think you are going to be able to get a ridiculously low price...gone are the days when the banks are willing to accept 50% of the value.
Also, because the seller is actively involved in the short sale process, you won't need to evict them upon taking possession of the home. They must vacate the process before the closing or it doesn't happen. This is not always the case with a property that has gone through foreclosure.
Whether you've become aware of the distressed situation on a property through an agent, a FSBO ad or word-of-mouth, this is most definitely NOT a do-it-yourself project. A short sale is one real estate transaction where you really need help from an experienced agent or attorney. Not all real estate agentsor attornies know how to handle a short sale, so make sure you do your research and consult with one who can demonstrate special training or a good track record with short sales.