Have you ever shopped on E Bay? They show the item at a very attractive price. They show that there is 20 minutes left to bid. You make your bid and all of the sudden within the last minute the others waiting for your low bid jump in and as the seconds tick away and better your bid.
It is pretty much like that in real estate today. Usually properties are dangling in the wind with their prices so promising a great deal and it appears no takers. Just when you think you have the deal wrapped up a dozen others get in and all of the sudden from top contender you are just the underdog. It pays to loose a few to learn the game. Paying full price or even paying over full price is not a foolish bet. With so little difference in payments on the account of low interest rates buying a property for a few pennies more may be not so foolish after all. When you found the one you like go all out it could make the difference. Loosing it may be painful but keeping your good sense and your experience is priceless.
I once had a Fannie Mae response take over 14 days--it was also a multiple offer situation.