The process is frustrating for any homebuyer and Realtor/Agent unfamiliar with the process. I went through this back in the 1989-1991 market but never got Reponses!! But back then we were not as "side-ways" as the current crop of short-sales indicate. What makes this short-sale market so different is the rather breathtaking "loan compromises" we've been seeing! I mean $200,000!!! In loan forgiveness!! And the lenders are approving them!! BUT!! That doesn't mean it's a DEAL!!! You'd be surprised at how fast you can loose everything by buying properties for pennies on the dollar!
The big key is to understand the process going into the transaction. Yes, it is going to take forever to get a response! Just accept this. Make all your timelines begin at the time of acceptance of your offer by the lender when it comes to inspections, attorney review, etc. This can be very problematic as contracts have at their core "Time is of the essence". However, when you work a short-sale expect those with the most patience and understanding to get the deal done. Ranting and Raving ain't gonna cut it!
You need to ask yourself a fundamental question: Is this house really worth all this hassle? There are PLENTY of sellers out there who WANT your offer and will provide price concessions, interest rate buy-downs, and all sorts of fun things to get YOUR offer. Think about it and good luck!