Ron is wrong.
Foreclosures are posted thru the court and have to be advertised. Typically the foreclosure will involve a foreclosure auction, unless the borrower gives the deed back in lieu of a foreclosure.
At the auction anyone can bid and buy it. Again typically the bank bids in to protect its position. The bank at auction can not let it go for to much under what it has it on the books for. As that would be not in the best interest of its share holders.
Once the bank owns the property it can sell it for much less than what it has it on the books for. Once the bank owns it, they will as Ron states give it to a realtor to handle the sale.
So from a buyers standpoint it is better to buy a foreclosed home once it is owned by the bank for a number of reasons, which your buyer agent can go into the details.
Buyers agents can cost you, if there is no fee being offered by the seller, read you buyer agency agreement. Also, some seller agents may be more negotiable if it is a direct deal, although they do represent the sellers best interest.