Also, In order for the bank to know that they are receiving the most money for the property agents can begin marketing the home at a value of a normal sale. Maybe the agent was not well versed in the short sale process and did not cousel the owner properly.
My best advice is when buying, in any situation, ALWAYS have representation. Work with a Buyer's Agent. It is the best way to know as much information about a home you are thinking of buying.