Some conflicting answers here. Let's summarize it for you:
1-Get pre-approved/prequalified......find out what you can comfortably buy.
2-Put in an offer. You do not need a significant amount of cash, but the bank may want more than your typical $1,000 good faith deposit.
3-You do not need a realtor or an attorney to buy a foreclosed home. But it's not in your best interest to learn as you go, is it? Use professionals and they will make it look easy!
4-You can do any and all inspections you want. The bank just treats them as inspections for informational purpose only. You find some serious defect, the bank may elect to ignore it and say that you bought it as-is. At that point you can always still walk away.
5-There are other investors out there with maybe lots of cash. If you see one, point them my way. I love working with them. There are plenty of REO properties out there for everyone.
I think that covers most of it. Have any more questions? Feel free to buzz me or e-mail me.
Jacobus "Jack" Vollenberg
RE Appraiser - Vollenberg Appraisers
Asset Manager - ERA Statewide Realty
Cell (973) 590-0142