The banks are all challenged,overwhelmed so what you really need is a realtor who is very knowledgeable about short sales who will stay on top of the listing agent, negotiator, bank. ALthough as buyers agent its "not our job" to do that its important your realtor takes control when things arent happening as they should and taking too long. The buyers agent should be in the loop at all times.
Too many listing agents say they know how to handle a short sale but they do not and things fall through the cracks, they dont do what they need to do in a timely fashion which can kill deals. Also be careful of the HOA's many of them make it difficult for all of us to close a deal.
Let me know how we can help. Forbes Realty specializes in short sales and foreclosures (my broker even teaches classes nationally). Best, Diana