Chances are that if a home is a foreclosure then it will be listed for sale by a real estate agent hired to represent the bank and market the property. Unless you are attempting to buy the home at auction or trustees's sale. When buying a foreclosure listed by a Realtor, the process is pretty much the same as a regular sale, with a few exceptions. The bank is the seller. Communication with the will probably take a little longer. You may be competing with other buyers who are going after the "great deal". Also, the sale is very likely to be "as-is, where-is" meaning the bank offers no warranty, disclosures or guarantees on condition. What you see is what you get. A thourough home inspection by a qualified inspector is very important. A For Sale By Owner is likley to be much different than a sale involving agents. Neither the buyer or seller will have professional representation, meaning a lot of liability. Also, you will be responsible for negotiating directly with the seller, researching all neighborhood info, comps, etc. etc. A local real estate agent is a very valuable asset to assist you. Many agents can still represent you on a FSBO, but their compensation has to be negotiated. Sometimes the seller will even be willing to pay your agent for bringing you to the property. Depending on your state's laws, sometimes a title company can facilitate the sale. They can handle all of the neccessary paperwork for a fee. Sometimes you will need a real estate attorney. Consult a local real estate professional or a title company in your area to have them answer these questions for you. But keep in mind, a Realtor is a very valuable asset to help guide you through the process. Good luck!
But there are ways around that too.