foreclosures.com provides a list of homes in various stages of the foreclosure process. They may be in the pre-foreclosure stage, the bank has notified the local court that the owner is in default on their mortgage and a lawsuit for foreclosure is being filed. At the same time, the owners may be attempting to get their mortgage modified and, sometimes the owners file for bankruptcy as part of the process of trying to save their home because it stops the foreclosure temporarily and buys them some time.
When either the home owner or the bank is ready to actually sell the home it will be listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If the home is in a short sale situation, and the homeowner is negotiating with the bank to take less than is owed to pay off the current mortgage, the bank will insist that the home be marketed on the MLS to maximize exposure and get the best price possible. And, when banks foreclose and sell the house themselves the same thing happens, the home is marketed through the MLS.
If you are interested in purchasing homes that are in the short sale stage or have been foreclosed on, your best option is to work with a good real estate agent who can monitor the Multiple Listing Service for you.