Who is your issue with? Is it your lender? Was that lender recommended by your agent? Is your issue with the banks that own troubled assets? Or are you trying to buy short sales that the lender may not want to take a loss on?
Your agents "job" is to advocate on your behalf by getting you the best deal & negotiate with the sellers agent, help you with resources, i.e. home inspectors, lenders, attorney, etc....
Your lenders job is to keep you informed and provide you with the best rate & loan product available to you based on your qualifications.
You are directing your frustration at the wrong person.
As a borrower you can "shop around" for the best lender and customer service provided. You are allowed to have your credit ran 3x within a 30 day period and not have your credit affected with hard hits each time.
Your agent can assist by establishing a good rapport with your lender and follow up with occasional calls/emails to check on status. Work with the lender your Realtor recommended, they usually have a relationship and the sharing of information, provided you grant permission, is more readily available. Remember, the lender cannot share your confidential financials or information pertaining to.
Finally, yes of course, interview a few agents (3 is what I recommend) a dozen is an over kill and can, and more than likely will, end up in confusion.
Hope this helps!
If you want to go ahead and threaten the bank, you can, but trust me they will not move any faster, in fact they may even feel offended and really keep you waiting.
I understand your frustration. If you were using a buyers agent to help you he or she is limited to what they can do. Bank owned properties often end up with many bids or it takes time for the banks to respond. Sometimes it is the fault of the listing agent not keeping in constant contact with the bank. So the issue is the listing side not your agent.
You definitely want to make sure in these situation you are working with a buyers broker that keeps you in the loop and can show you the communication with the other side.
As far as the offers, welcome to the land of distressed properties. Banks have their own timetable and you are at their mercy. Even the best agents can only bug them and sometimes that has the opposite effect.
If you want to deal with distressed properties, you will wait. It is nerve wracking, but hopefully your next purchase will be in a different market climate. You can certainly interview agents before you choose one and should, but you should also have the realistic expectations of what to expect when buying.
If you do not want the headaches, buy a regular sale property.
2) Your agent may have done everything they could in the face of a non-responsive bank, or she could have been new to the bank run around and gotten frustrated.
3) Interview 3-4 agents that have been recommended to you by people you respect.