Yes indeed, short sales are long from the sense of time. The term is used because the seller is 'short' on being able to repay his or her note.
Who knows why? I agree that experienced agents and/or experienced negotatiators tend to get it done sooner instead of later - but still 3 months is the shortest I've ever experienced.
I think we all forget that the banks have thousands of these nationwide and there may be dozens of files (if not, more) sitting on one person's desk. Short sales are complex animals where the bank evaulated not only the seller's situation, but the value of the property, as well.
They're not fun but they are a part of our real estate market.