Carefully weigh the value of the property vs. your sanity. I was in second position in a short sale and it's been nothing but frustration in dealing with the less than stellar listing agent. The lack of communication we (me and my agent) received is staggering. I know with deals like this you are at the mercy of the bank, but this particular listing agent was horrible! We had to beg for updates and the escrow of the first party was supposed to close on Jan 3 and we just heard back today (Jan 9) that it looks like it will close today. I sent an email off to the agent's broker and GM stating my frustration of dealing with an unresponsive agent and the GM wrote back a glowing review of how wonderful and professional this particular agent is (not that I expected anything different). However, it took all that just to get a very short, one sentence email from the listing agent that all contingencies were removed today and escrow should close.
So, is this unusual? I don't know, but tend to think not. Dealing with REO and short sales are a pain for everyone involved and one needs the patience of a saint to go through the process.
I got the feeling that this listing agent felt it was beneath her to deal with a short sale. Again, could be that I just had a really bad experience - but I'd really think it over before going 'there' again.