If the home is bank-owned, a Realtor can find out which bank owns and then keep an eye on it to come active on the market. The unfortunate thing about bank-owned properties is that it can take a bank either a few weeks or a few months to get the house listed for sale.
If the previous owner died and there was no will, the home is not considered bank-owned, it's a probate sale. Probate sales can be time consuming, so it's important to get the correct information.
Again, you need to have a Realtor help you find the correct status of the property.
Either way, in order to buy this home or any home, you need to be pre-approved with a lender or have proof of funds to purchase a property with cash. If you would like names/ numbers of local lenders, please feel free to contact me and I'll provide you with those.
Keller Williams Realty
Your best bet is to find an agent to watch for when the home goes on the market and assist you with your purchase.
Best of luck.
ERA Tom Grizzard