Short Answer: Yes, you can ask Sellers if they are willing to rent instead of sell.
Long Answer: Don't bother. You will have to wait in line behind all the people who want to buy. The real estate market pulled a U-turn sometime in March and it is a whole different ballgame now. Multiple offers, bidding wars, short days on market, mobbed open houses, difficulty scheduling inspections and closings, lenders are out of their mind...sort of like 2006.
In real life, anybody with a house to sell is likely buying another house...and needs the equity from the sale for the down payment on the new one, not a stream of rental income for a year.