Welcome to our local market.
Yes, I would agree it is in the sellers best interest to stay in the home, care for it and protect it from copper thieves. However, these banks are very intimidating and leave most sellers feeling like they have must do what they are told and get out. Not only does the seller have an interest in staying but if they can prepare the home and be sure to keep the property presentable they will acquire a higher selling price and that means more $$$ towards their debt. But they rarely see it this way!
Maybe you sould knock on the door and ask whats up. Find out the auction date and find a realtor (the listing agent) to give you some insight as to the condition of the property. Then you may be able to purchase, rent back or move in yourself. Banks are getting reasonable on price as the winter months approach especially here in MA with the new laws.
If the bank purchases the property back at auction then they will probably re-list on MLS with a realtor and you will see it again.
Paula, Paula, Paula! You are asking a question that is much too rational and one where the answer should be obvious. Please don't bore us with your rationality! Ha, ha!
Unfortunately, the banks are not as rational as you or I. It seems as though the banks are multi-headed monsters. Their heads don 't seem to be communicating. Oh, and don't think that you can outthink the banks. You will end up pulling the hair out of your head in a mental institution on an island off of Boston.
Wait for the property to come back to the market as a REO.