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Prudential Karam & Simon Realty
Sally is correct. There really is no jumping the gun, unless you happen to know who the lender is and if they generally list their REO properties through a specific broker. You still wont be able to get in the house, but at least the broker might want to add you to the list of prospective buyers in case they get the listing.
Even once the sherrif sale takes place, the previous owners typically have a right to redeem the property within a certain time frame. As Sally said, this could be weeks or months, and it could be a little time before the bank decides to market the home for sale.
Hope this helps!