If you are purchasing a short sale, you need to be the right type of buyer. If you sold your home and need to move within a certain period of time, a short sale is not for you. If you are in a position, such as a month to month lease, or living with the parents, you might do well bidding on a short sale.
Every bank is different. The listing agent and sellers are dealing with the bank's loss and mitigation department. They are swamped. When I show short sale properties, I tell my buyers to put in offers on everything they like. Sometimes you hear right away that an offer will be accepted, but most of the time you wait. If another offer has better terms (more cash down), the bank may chose that over yours. When a bank does chose an offer, they want to close within 30 days. They will not drop that offer once they have started for a higher offer like a seller might do.
If you have the home inspected now, you will be paying $400 - $500 for an inspection on a home that you may not get. It would be more prudent to wait until the bank has accepted your offer.