The simple answer to this question probably is “No!” Short Sales are where the seller owes more on the house than it is worth and the lender has agreed to let them sell it for less that is owed. This may sound good, but there are a bunch of hurdles to jump.
For starters, the lender won’t take a contingency contract, meaning they won’t wait for you to sell your old house first. That knocks out a lot of buyer’s. Then you will be buying it “As-Is.” Sure, you could get it inspected BEFORE you make the offer, but they won’t make any repairs.
The worst part for most buyers is all the waiting involved. The offer the buyer made gets sent to the lender. The people whose job it is to deal with the sale have about 5000 other ones to work through too. And they only have Monday through Friday from 8 to 5. Just like a foreclosed property, they employees are overwhelmed and aren’t that interested in helping. Often, their e-mail inboxes are full as well as their voicemail box. It can take 4-6 weeks just to even get them to reply to the offer. Meanwhile, the buyer has no idea IF they are even buying this house, yet alone WHEN they will be able to move.
If you aren’t in a hurry, don’t have to sell your old house first, are patient, don’t get stressed out easily or are an investor, then a short sale may work for you. If this is you, then find an agent that has dealt with short sales before. You want an agent that can see problems coming and prevent them rather than one that will just be reporting bad news to you. For everybody else, avoid them.