Without knowing the specific reasons why a delay exists, it's impossible to comment with any degree of accuracy. The "short sale" process is one that involves a number of important steps that may or may not rest in the hands of the lender. For example, it's very common for a short sale that extends over a period of time for the lender to request the owners "financials" several times. This involves the owner doing an extensive account of all of their personal financial activity over a specific period of time. The debt associated with a property can also cause delays.....ect.
My recommendation is to have your representative attempt to identify the specific reason(s) that are causing your delay and then determine what steps you need to take including whether or not this is something you should continue with.
I would surmise that you have the "approval" of the homeowner, and are waiting for the ACCEPTANCE of the Bank.
Understand that you have nothing: Nothing in writing from the Bank.
They can ignore you, they can blow you off.
You have two choices; and you don't like either one.
I typically write into short sale contracts that my clients have the option to be released from the contract at 30 day intervals, should they decide to either move forward on another house or cancel the short sale contract. The potential of drop out over time for buyers is great, which is why some banks take several contracts at once (in a line) in case someone backs out.
Short sales are certainly a test of ones patience: after all, its 'shorting' the bank what they are owed, not a 'short' timeframe sale.
Good luck and certainly do follow up with me if your short sale doesn't work out (and you aren't in an exclusive agency agreement with the agent who wrote the contract for you).
Different banks (the mortgage holder) manage short sales in varying ways and there is little that can be done to affect a change.
If the Listing Agent and the seller's attorney are familiar with the process and doing all they can to move it along, the rest is determined by the bank.
Hang in there. These unacceptable delays are the reasons why Realtors like to have back up offers; not all buyers are patient.
From my understanding, the banks are often interested in how their bottom line looks to their stock holders and closing too many short sales or foreclosures in one financial reporting time period is not necessary beneficial. This is just my understanding and may not be what is hold up your deal.
Please hang in there; be patient.