If the bank has not foreclosed yet, the owner of record still owns it. Then you would approach them, and most likely do a short sale. But, from what you say, the agent told you the bank was going to auction it.
Here is where things are hard to deal with. There are many agents out there who do not understand the process after a bank becomes involved. It may be a day, or maybe several months before it is a "foreclosure". Also, many owners really do not feel good about sharing info at that time in their life.
If you can find out who the bank or lender is, that is where you should start. Buying a home from the bank is a lot easier - IMHO - than working out a short sale.
You should also check the courthouse auctions often to make sure you do not miss it. A lot of times, properties go to auction and some contacts at the lender are not aware of it.
As a general rule, if the property did not sell at the Courthouse when the bank foreclosed, the bank takes the property. Most of these foreclosing properties are not selling at the courthouse because the bank is owed far more than what the property is worth. When the property is foreclosed, the courthouse auction bidding starts at the amount the foreclosing bank is owed.
Once the bank forecloses on the property, the bank may decide to sell the property through a local realtor OR they may hold the property OR they may bundle the property with others they now own and sell to an investor. If the bank decides to sell the property through a local realtor, the bank will refer you to that realtor. The banks do not generally sell their REO ("Real Estate Owned") properties directly to buyers. If you are able to determine who the realtor is who will be selling this property, I recommend calling this agent directly. The agent is bound by the terms of their listing agreement with the seller (the bank or third party servicer).
You obviously can pay whatever's owed on the mortgage, and buy it as a conventional purchase. That'll work. But you don't want to do that if the home is worth less than what's owed on it. And that's the case with most foreclosures today.
Technically, you could try a short sale, but those take time and it sounds as if it's just about ready to be auctioned off.
Still, don't panic. It'll be available for purchase as a foreclosure. Your Realtor can provide more information.