Your best bet is to work with a good agent who can provide you with foreclosure listings that are available & fit within the area, price range & size/style you are looking for. Most foreclosure listings are sold similar to regular sales, listed by an agent and marketed as any other property would be. The seller you would enter into contract with should your offer be accepted would be the bank which foreclosed on the home, and the decisions would be made by the banks management and asset manager handling the transaction.
If you are not currently working with an agent and would like some assistance, I would be happy to help you out. Please give me a call at 323-810-7976 or send me an email to email@example.com - I would be happy to go into the process in much greater detail with you an answer any questions you may have.
I also recently did a blog post where I re-posted an article concerning REO sales - you may find it somewhat helpful as it concerns this subject. You can find the article here: http://jbknowsthevalley.blogspot.com/2009/09/5-common-myths-
Hope this info is helpful - let me know if you have any questions...
Have a nice evening!
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage