Simple answer, often REO listing agents do not return calls. If they have a hot property, they just gather the offers and send then into the bank.. Some have 200 to 300 listings, so why bother? The property remains active until an offer is accepted by the bank, and that can take days. In the interim there is no point to showing the property. Also, the bank may say no more offers, but until an offer is accepted the Broker cannot take it off the market. If there are multiple offers the bank may say enough. And with viable offers in, it's a waste of everyone's time to continue showing. Basically, there is nothing you can do. All experienced agents can help you with REOs, and Illinois has Buyers Agency so the agent is bound by law to have your best interest in mind.
Bottom line, scope out your desired area. If you see a dumpster, a posting, anything different on a property, ask neighbors, snoop around. IF you can have your agent get to the bank, or in a short sale, the owner. If the owner has an agent, they will tell you.Re agents, find someone you know and trust, and who you can reach easily!