Thank you for your question about finding out more information on a Foreclosed/REO property. This is a very good question because there are a lot of Foreclosure/REO properties that are not on the market and many people have the same question. These properties are called the 'shadow' market because they are in the shadows.
As previously mentioned contacting an agent is the best way to find information about a specific property because they can obtain the information faster than an interested party, since it is their job.
To find a local agent with information about a home that is potentially in the shadow market I suggest submitting a request on the RealtyTrac website because the agents who pay for those leads are signed up for the service as well. Their service is predatory and a bad deal for a consumer because they use deceptive advertising tactics, but the information does have value to agents with a lot of clients.
Agents not signed up with RealtyTrac have the industry contacts to find more information about any property. Therefore, using an agent is good because they either have the information or know where to get it.
I have performed this service several times, however, I discontinued responding to unsolicitated requests because it is too time consuming to do without a contract.
First, you have to find out what lender owns the property. Next you contact the broker they work with. If your phone calls are not returned, which is common, contact the lenders property management department. I have gone as far as talking with the property manger directly.