Just like the agent below answered there are no greta deals at the auctionsand they usually charge a "buyers premium" which is usually 3% of the final sales price.
I belive that you can do better in this market working with a Real Estate Profesional. It would be my pleasure to meet with you and find out what your needa are. My office is located in Roseville jsut behind the new Fountains Shopping Center. I have been helping home buyers and sellers since 1982.
I can be reached @ 893.6884 be sure and ask about home scouting that brings homes directly to your coputer daily . .
I'm a real estate investor and I've purchased homes at these auctions. I've walked away from 10x as many as I've purchased. But the ones I've purchased have been 30-40% below market value. The trick is trying to determine what that market value actually is. The process certainly requires plenty of due diligence. Former owners may punch holes in the sheetrock, rip out the appliances. Most certainly suffer from general neglect.
I also find it interesting that the agents are all railing against the auction houses for charging a 5% fee.....that's typically at least how much a seller is going to pay to have their house sale consummated. Oh, and even though the realtors tell you that the sellers are paying for that service....its not true. Approx 75% of the commissions are passed on through to the buyer through a higher selling price, based on empirical studies.
Anyway, I'm a year and a half late on this comment, but posting for the benefit of others as well.
Best of luck.
One of the largest auction houses around is REDC. They have a website where you can sign up and get the schedule of auction in the Sacramento area. But talk to your agent and see if you can get a good REO deal. For me, this is still the best deal, you have no pressure, you can think about it and you do not need to bring a cashier's check that can easily be liquidated if you do not follow the parameters of the auction house.