I dont understand the question, if a REO (Real Estate Owned) property is already Active Contingent, most bank assest managers no longer look at any other offers as they are already committed to the accepted, executed purchase contract. Especially on a REO because once the bank accepts, takes usually a week for the bank to send the buyers the bank addendums and paperwork, and once all that is signed do they actuall sign the purchase contract, changing the status to Active Contingent. Active Capa is different, that is on a short sale and I would still take a client to look at an Active Capa cause they are still accepting offers, if you are ok with waiting up to 6 months on a short sale that is, most clients are not and with the amount of available inventory I can usually find something else for clients than waiting around for short sale(s) to be approved.
Are you pre-approved? If not, that should be your first step and your priority. Next, find a local agent or Realtor as all these questions can and should be answered by them. Best of luck.