To hasten the purchasing process, get your financing in order in advance. Once you qualify for a loan, you will improve your chances.
Hire a qualified real estate agent conversant with the neighborhood to assess the home that interests you. Inspect the house to estimate what repairs will be required. Do a title search to find any liens or other liabilities that come with the home. This advanced legwork will help set the wheels in motion. It will also give you an advantage over other bidders.