A property is either in foreclosure or it is not. The word pre-foreclosure is a term used meaning a short sale which can be done while the property is in the foreclosure process to try and skirt past the foreclosure conclusion which is the auction at the courthouse. If a property is being foreclosed or near the start of the process it usually means the owner can't make the payments and they can't sell it because it is not worth as much as is owed to the bank on it.
If a seller wants to sell it they must sell it for enough to pay off the loan on it. Since it is not worth what is owed you would have to pay a lot more than it is worth -- and I doubt you want to do that. So the owner has two options:
Wait for the bank to foreclose on it
Try to do a short sale before they foreclose on it
It sounds like your owner is going to wait for the foreclosure, so just wait for the bank to buy it and they will decide to sell it at some time and you can make an offer on it then.... more