Typically once a bank actually take ownership via foreclosure (does the property appraiser's website list the bank as the owner?) they will not sell directly to a "retail" buyer before listing it with a local Realtor so it's available for all to see. If you were buying a multimillion dollar portfolio of properties then yes it may be possible to strike a deal with a lender/bank. If you're buying a single property then it's nearly impossible.
So if you have a sentimental reason why you want to buy a particular property then ask your Realtor to set you up with an automatic notification so you can make your offer (cash, ideally) within hours of it being listed for sale.
Let us know if we can help you. You're welcome to "search like a Realtor", sign up for a free Listingbook account:
All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
and Teresa Kee
Sold On Tampa Team