Typically short sales will be in decent condition; better than a foreclosure. Often times the homeowner will still be living there.
They are sold "as-is," so do not expect anything to be repaired. However, it is highly recommended that you still have an inspection to see if there are any major issues present.
If you would like to purchase a short sale, you will have to be patient. It typically takes around 3-4 months if your seller's Realtor and attorney know what they are doing.
Be in touch with your mortgage broker because once the short sale is approved, you will typically only have 30-40 days to close.
Paying for Little Things
You may have to pay for some condominium documents (if applicable) because the Seller theoretically has no money to do so itself.