If you bid on a bank-owned property and if there is a multiple-offer situation, the selling bank may take up to 2 weeks to decide which offer to accept. Only one buyer is asked to submit signed addenda and earnest money. You should not send any money unless you have a confirmation from the seller that your offer was accepted. If an offer is in "back up" position, your chances of getting the property depend on the first buyer's performance. If that deals fells through, your offer may be accepted or, the property gets back on the market and other buyers get a chance to bid on it. Only MLS and a handful of websites show properties as being "under contract' or "active contingent" as it is the case with Trulia.com. Most other websites just display properties as available for sale until they are marked as "sold" in the MLS.