The answer, not to be cagey, but in truth, to everything real estate is...it depends. It depends on who the owner is and how they approach the market. It depends on whether it is handled by a listing agent and in the local MLS, or by on-line auction, or by auction on the court-house steps. I do not recommend the latter two to inexperienced buyers, because you do not get the benefit of title insurance or inspections, and that can set you up for expensive mistakes. Homes listed in the MLS are typically handled exactly the same way as other locally marketed properties, other than the fact that they are usually not spruced up or staged before the sale...and the seller does not provide any inspections, unless another buyer has written an offer, paid for inspections and then walked away. It can be a good way to get a better deal on a property, but you will usually earn any benefit you gain, because you take it in AS IS condition.