Normally when buying a foreclosed property prior to sheriff sale the buyer will not have access to the home. Because most of the homes in foreclosure now owe more than the house is worth most homes are being bought back by the bank. These homes will eventually be re-listed and as an agent I can show the properties to you at that point. I will be hosting a class next month called Winning With Foreclosures. Please call me with any questions and let me know if you'd like to attend: 609-484-9890 ext. 132.
No you can view a property scheduled for sheriff sale unless it is being offer for sale by a broker at the same time. In my area people have called the police and one person that I know of was charged with being a peeping tom for looking in the windows of an occupied home.
If it is a public auction and there is an MLS listing there should be a listing agent. If you look at the county's website it might say who is the title current holder and you could also call that holder - that's if the records are updated.
If it is a REDC type auction (other companies besides REDC) then you can call the auctioning company and let them know you have interest and would like to see the property. They should be able to make arrangements --