Are you ready to purchase before all the good deals are gone? Follow the simple tips below to help get you in your new home at a great price.First, what is a short sale? A short sale is an opportunity for a home owner to sell their home at a reduced rate. This lower amount is less than what is owed on the property and must be approved by the seller's lender.Some might say "What a great deal," and it can be a great opportunity for buyers and for sellers. The key to a successful short sale is communication and patience. So what are the tips to buying a short sale?1. Know that short sales are listed substantially below market value. Properties listed with low initial asking prices can spark a feeding frenzy. Even if the seller has accepted your offer, the lender has the final say on the selling price and getting answers from some lenders can take months. This is when a buyer needs to remain patient.2. As stated above, most short sales are listed at cut rate pricing. When this happens, sellers will see multiple offers at one time. This is fantastic for the seller and the lender. As a buyer, it can be frustrating. Be sure to have a budget and know when you need to stop presenting offers. Your real estate broker can advise you on this. Stay away from those bidding wars. What once was a bargain can become overpriced in short order.3. Use a Realtor. Realtors have established relationships with negotiators, have the knowledge and know the proper steps in communication. Negotiating a short sale is very time consuming.4. Know what type of loan you have applied for. Short sale owners are not in a position to make repairs. Communicate with your lender so they are aware of any potential items in the home that would cause your loan not to be funded. 5. Always do an inspection. You need to know what you are purchasing. Not always, but most sellers who are in an unfortunate situation do not maintain their properties quite as thoroughly as if it were a regular sale.6. Paper work, paper work, paper work. There is going to be a lot of it. Make sure you have all of your loan documents in place and are ready to move forward. Upon short sale approval, the seller's lender allows only a small window for closing of escrow. Have all of your ducks in a row. If you can't close, you could lose out on your dream home.Danette Dickey and Mary Huffine are brokers at Real Estate Out West.