I agree with Gabe--you need to be represented by an agent in this process-- a short sale is a time consuming and stressful transaction, and without knowledgeable representation, you could find yourself spending monies that are unnecessary at this time.
Realtors use a form that is approved by the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar Association (FARBAR). The "as is" form does give you the "right to inspect" within a certain period of time. With a short sale transaction, there is an addendum that is required that lets the buyer know (legally) that the home is in a short sale situation, and that certain steps (depending on what is checked) will be followed. This is the form that will determine if you need to inspect the home before or after the bank accepts the offer (which can take up to 3 months).
If you have any questions, and are being represented by your own realtor--I would call them and ask them your questions! If not, I would suggest that you find a realtor to help you protect your interests in a transaction.
I hope you are being represented by an agent and not using the short sale listing agent. There's no need to pat for an inspection early as others have suggested, it can be idfficult enough getting a short sale approved. You should specify an inspection period and it should not begin until the bank/lender has approved the short sale.
There are special short sale addendums that must be used in Florida. Please, make sure you are properly represented.
That sounds funny. Breach of contract is breach of contract - you don't have one. I don't see anything wrong with an offer that has a stipulation in it - they can accept that offer, counter, or decline. Perhaps there is something about how Florida works that's different than this?
You might consider paying to have an inspection done, before you make your offer. Thing is the WAY that you have phrased it might be the issue. For example, an offer of $X - with inspection contingency - usually means that you CAN walk if you don't like what's IN the inspection report. But you really can't demand that it "pass inspection" in a short sale situation. You won't even be able to enforce that the seller guarantees the C/O (certificate of occupancy). In a normal resale (well here in PA anyway) - the seller must guarantee the CO. I've no idea if that holds true for FL - but anyway this isn't a resale, it's a short sale.
So ... it's a much more complex type of sale but it can be possible to get a sizeable discount vs. market value.