How long does it take? If time in any dimension is a factor you should not let short sales come into your mind as a real estate purchase option. Bank of America may respond (sort of) to you in a month or two or three or longer. It depends what what they are doing behind their cloak of secrecy and incompetence.
When you suggested to your REALTOR you wanted to make an offer on a short sale, you had 'The Talk!"
Everything your REALTOR advised regarding short sales is true. Since Bank of America is involved it is double true and double bad.
Don't second guess your REALTOR by coming to the internet for a second opinion.
Short sales are the 'Wild, Wild West of Real Estate where there exists a illusion of rules but anything can and does happen."
Statistically, if your offer is the first offer on this home, you have less the a 33% chance of success. To them it matters not if you hang in or bail out. you have already served the only purpose they wanted.
I can hear you. I must be exaggerating.
Buckle up. It's going to be a wild ride.