In real estate, there's no normal that can apply to every transaction. You just have to work with your Realtor to figure out what works.
In a short sale, your purchase agreement is contingent up on the bank's approval. If the bank doesn't approve the sale, then there's no contract between you and the seller. In that case, there's no point in viewing the property until after the approval. You would only need to press to view the property if you actually are purchasing the property AS IS without any inspection contingencies. But, again, you don't know when the approval would come from the bank, if it does at all.