It's a beautiful day at the beach!
Like many answers below, it does depend on your local MLS, but the rule of thumb is that you can still present an offer on the property that's called a "BACK UP OFFER', which, I use in conjunction with an inspection to ensure that the property is in the same shape as it was when it was first listed.
Sound tricky? Well, it gets even stickier with SHORT SALES because some lending institutions take months to accept or reject an offer. So, you may miss out on a DEAL while waiting for an answer from a bank.
My advice is to place the backup offer contingent on inspection, and make sure that you have a right to withdraw your offer UNTIL it has been accepted by the seller(s) - that way if you find a better deal, you get your escrow back and buy the better deal.
Hope this helps...