When it comes to "Short-Sales" we are in the Wild, Wild West! Our "best practices" line of thinking is to present all offers to the Seller, they inturn sign "subject to lender approval", as you might have with any other contingency in a contract (pysical inspections, loan or appraisal approval) and you have ONE accepted offer with perhaps a "back-up". Now, does that happen? NOPE! I've seen agents sent every offer they can get their hands on to the lenders WITHOUT the Seller's signature! obviously, contract law eludes these individuals. Therefore, if the agent is following "best practices" he has acceped an offer with perhaps a backup. You can continue to submit as the bank can "reject" an offer if they know another "fat" one is behind it. Remember, they are NOT qualifying the Buyer's but the loss they'll be taking on the sale. However, a solid approval letter would get you noticed plus a big down payment. Going in with nothinig down might be problematic if you've got another party buying with 20% down!
Also--don't back out of the deal, if your offer is accepted, by saying to the agent, "They are tired of waiting or they've found a better home!" Remember, you have an accepted offer, regardless of the "Short-Sale" nature of it. So if you wish to back out of the transaction make sure it is done according to the contract. This could bey physical inspections contingency, disapproval of the TDS, etc. Agents think because it is a "Short-Sale" they can be sloppy, not so! Also, a deposit is still needed!! And don't think you can write offers on 10 other properties at the same time and get 5 accepted and then back out of each one. If your intent is to buy all 5 then no problem, but if you're just playing the numbers and have every intent to only buy ONE--then this is fraud!!
In other words--This is a valid, viable contract with all inherent obligations, once accepted, in effect!