You are letting all the details cloud the deal. The old forrest vs. the tree.
If you want to make an offer before the auction, go do it. If it don't work, heh, the auction is coming.
If the property goes to auction, attend and bid what you think it is worth. This is capitalism at its best. Value is what is in the eye of the beholder.
Personally, I buy all my properties off the MLS. I like the support of a legal contract vs the it is what it is of an auction.