Short sales are a considerable part of today’s housing stock. Because of that, you need to assess if pursuing this type of sale fits in your schedule.
What’s your time frame? Do you need to move by a certain date? If so, then a short sale probably isn’t for you, as it can take 3 or more months for bank approval. Can you wait that long (or longer)? Assess your time frame up front and be smart about your search. Don’t waste time considering properties that won’t fit with your needs.
That said, short sales can be a great deal *if* you can wait, and if you understand that the bank holding the mortgage on the home will likely counter your agreed upon purchase price.