If your looking to buy a home before auction, that would be a preforeclosure.
This can be very tricky, due to several issues such as; liens, title clouds and or encumbrances. During (public) auction, once more tricky again, these must be purchased with all cash and could still have back taxes which have not been paid yet will transfer with ownership. After auction and unsold, the property goes back to the bank, and after they clear any remaining issues, they'll have it placed on the market with a real estate agency. Actually it should be called "post foreclosures" since it is after the foreclosure process.
To get the best foreclosure homes, at the best price and terms really requires to main things. Educating yourself and working closely with a Realtor who is a designated foreclosure specialist.
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Solid Source Realty
Office: 770-475-1130 x 6180