With a short sale, nothing is official until you have a short sale approval from the lender. So if you placed an offer on a short sale, and wanted to have inspections conducted prior to getting that approval, you can.... but you would be wasting your money if the offer you placed was rejected. My recommendation would be, that if you have found a short sale listing that you like. Place the offer, wait the approval period. And then once you received the approval, then conduct your inspections. Most short sale approval periods are good for 30 days, and you would want your agent to set up a 10 day inspection period that begins the day you receive the approval. If you conduct your inspections prior to that, you could just be wasting your money.